Judgment Enforcement FAQs

I WAS AWARDED A MONEY JUDGMENT IN A CITY, TOWN OR VILLAGE COURT.  NOW WHAT?

The judgment itself can’t be filed in the Broome County Clerk’s Office. 

First you must purchase a Transcript of Judgment from the court that issued the Judgment.

That Transcript can then be filed in our office for $10.

  • We accept cash, checks (made payable to the Broome County Clerk) and credit cards (Visa, MasterCard and American Express).

 

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I FILE A TRANSCRIPT OF JUDGMENT WITH THE COUNTY CLERK?

The judgment becomes a lien against the debtor in Broome County.

  • In most cases, it will prevent the debtor from selling any land they own in Broome County until the judgment is paid in full.
  • Credit agencies regularly check the County Clerk's records to see if an applicant has any judgments filed against them.
  • If the judgment debtor attempts to obtain a credit card, take out a personal or vehicle loan or mortgage a home, they are often denied credit approval until all unpaid judgments are fully satisfied.

 

HOW LONG ARE JUDGMENTS VALID IN NEW YORK?

Judgments are valid for 20 years and may be extended once for an additional period of 10 years.

To extend a judgment for an extra ten (10) years, the Judgment Creditor must make written application to the court that issued the original judgment.

 

DO TRANSCRIPTS FILED IN BROOME PLACE A LIEN ON THE DEBTOR IN OTHER COUNTIES?

No. A Transcript of Judgment filed in one county does NOT place a lien against the debtor in any other county.

If the creditor wishes to enforce the judgment in another county, they must ask the Broome County Clerk’s Office for a Transcript of Judgment ($5 for each transcript issued).

  • A transcript is a document containing essential information about the judgment, certified by the Clerk in the county where the judgment was originally entered.

That transcript must then be filed with the County Clerk of any other county within the state where the judgment debtor owns property.

Example:
 

Binghamton City Court awards a money judgment to John Doe against Frank Smith.  

  • John Doe must purchase a transcript from Binghamton City Court (their fees apply) and file it in the Broome County Clerk’s Office for $10.  This places a lien against Mr. Smith in Broome County.
  • John Doe believes Mr. Smith also owns real property in Tioga, Chenango and Delaware Counties, so he must purchase 3 Transcripts of Judgment from the Broome County Clerk’s Office for filing in the other counties.
  • The fee for each transcript issued by the Broome County Clerk’s Office is $5, for a total of $15.

 

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF THE DEBTOR DOESN’T PAY ME?

CPLR §5230 and 5232(b) permits the levying and sale of property owned by the Judgment Debtor.  

First, contact the judgment debtor and request payment.  If the debtor fails to pay within 30 days of the judgment date (and files no appeal), you have a few options and may need the services of an enforcement officer – the Broome County Sheriff’s Office:

Executions

Before an enforcement officer can help you recover money from a debtor’s bank account or seize their property, you must first locate the debtor’s assets.  You can do this with the use of an Information Subpoena, a legal document that directs a person, corporation or other business to answer questions about where the judgment debtor’s assets can be found.

The Small Claims Court that issued your judgment can provide you with an Information Subpoena for a small fee or you can purchase the necessary forms from a legal stationary store. 

  • The Information Subpoena must be signed by the Small Claims Court Clerk.
  • After it’s signed, make copes for yourself and send the subpoena, 2 copies of the written questions and a self-addressed stamped envelope to the judgment debtor and anyone else you think may know about the debtor’s assets, such as an employer, utility company, landlord or bank. 

Exemptions may apply to certain personal property. 

  • See NY CPLR § 5205 for more info about personal property that’s exempt from satisfying money judgments.

Once you’ve located the judgment debtor’s assets, you need to obtain an Execution – a legal document signed by the County Clerk or the judgment debtor’s attorney, authorizing the Sheriff’s Office to seize the debtor’s property and money. 

Execution forms may be obtained from a legal supply store or downloaded online. 

There are two types of executions:  Income Executions and Property Executions

 

Income Execution or Wage Garnishment

An Income Execution (Form T-439), commonly known as a wage garnishment, is used to satisfy a money judgment from a debtor's earnings.

  • Permits garnishment of up to 10% of the judgment debtor’s disposable earnings.
  • Legal forms can be downloaded online or purchased in a legal supply store.

Before the Sheriff can enforce an Income Execution you must first:

  • File the lower court’s Transcript of Judgment in the Broome County Clerk’s Office.
  • Complete an Income Execution Form and have it signed by the Broome County Clerk or the creditor’s attorney. 
    • The County Clerk’s Fee is $5.00.
    • On the Income Execution, you must provide the full name and address of the judgment debtor and their employer.
      • If the debtor is no longer employed by the named employer, the Income Execution becomes ineffective & is returned to you.
      • It’s the creditor’s responsibility to identify the debtor’s employer.
    • You do NOT have to include the debtor’s Social Security Number.
  • File the completed Income Execution with the Sheriff where the debtor resides. You must also bring:
    • 6 photocopies (front and back) of the completed Income Execution; and
    • A copy of the transcript of judgment.
    • The Broome County Sheriff’s Office is located at:

Broome County Sheriff
Public Safety Facility
155 Lt. VanWinkle Drive
Binghamton, NY 13905

There are 2 stages involved in the enforcement of Income Executions.

  1. In the first stage, the Sheriff’s Office will serve the judgment debtor with the Income Execution.
  • The debtor has 20 days to start making voluntary installment payments to the Sheriff.

 

  1. If they fail to do so, the Sheriff will move on to the second stage and serve the Income Execution on the debtor's employer, who will deduct a percentage from the debtor's wages and remit it to the Sheriff.
  • There are specific income requirements and exemptions to income which may apply. 

The income execution remains in effect until the outstanding debt is satisfied.

Note: If the debtor lives in 1 county and works in another, you may need to file the Income Execution in both counties.

For example, if the judgment debtor lives in Broome County and works in Tioga County, you would first have to file the Income Execution with the Broome County Sheriff’s Office.  If the debtor fails to make payments voluntarily, the Broome County Sheriff will return the papers to you and you will need to file them with the Tioga County Sheriff.

The Broome County Sheriff’s fees are listed at www.gobroomecounty.com/sheriff/civil.

If you have any questions, please contact an attorney or the Sheriff’s Civil Division at (607) 778-2926 or civildivision@broomecounty.us.

 

Personal Property Executions

To recover your money from the debtor’s bank account or assets, the Broome County Sheriff’s Office requires:

  • A completed X-120 Form - EXECUTION WITH NOTICE TO GARNISHEE
    • You can download this form online or obtain a blank form from a legal supply store.
    • This form must be completed by the creditor and signed by either the Broome County Clerk or the creditor’s lawyer.
      • Broome County Clerk’s Fee is $5.00.
    • The Sheriff’s Office needs:
      • The original, completed X-120 Form;
      • 3 copies (front + back) of the completed X-120 form; and
      • 1 copy of your Transcript of Judgment.

 

For a bank levy you must also have a:

  • Notice of Exemption; and
  • 2 completed Exemption Claims forms attached to each copy of the X-120.
    • If these forms aren’t included, service will not be initiated.

For a vehicle seizure, the Sheriff’s Office requires an additional $350 deposit.

  • Vehicle executions require the creditor to send a completed MV-15 Form to Albany.  
  • The Sheriff’s office will need the original MV-904, in addition to the other required Property Execution Forms.

The forms you may need for Property Executions are:

  • X-120 – Execution with Notice to Garnishee
  • T-426 – Notice to Judgment Debtor
  • T-416 – Restraining Notice

These legal forms can NOT be obtained from the Broome County Clerk’s Office.  You can either download them online or purchase them at a legal supply store.

Additional fees and mileage will be charged by the Sheriff to perform the execution.

If you have any further questions, please contact an attorney or the Sheriff’s Civil Division at (607) 778-2926 or civildivision@broomecounty.us.

 

Types of Exempt Funds:

Some kinds of income and property are protected and exempt from most types of collection: 

  • 90% of the debtor’s earned income earned in the last 60 days;
  • The first $2,500 in any bank account receiving statutorily exempt payments, including:
    • Social Security;
    • Social Security Disability (SSD);
    • Supplemental security income (SSI);
    • Public assistance (welfare);
    • Income earned while receiving SSI or public assistance;
    • Veterans benefits;
    • Unemployment insurance;
    • Payments from pensions and retirement accounts;
    • Child support;
    • Workers' compensation benefits;
    • Spousal support or maintenance (alimony);
    • Railroad retirement;
    • Black lung benefits;

See NY CPLR § 5205 for more information about personal property that’s exempt from satisfying money judgments.

Please contact an attorney or the Sheriff’s Civil Enforcement Division at (607) 778-2145 if you have any further questions.

 

WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER MY JUDGMENT IS PAID IN FULL?

After the judgment is paid in full, it’s the creditor’s responsibility complete a Satisfaction of Judgment and ensure it’s filed in the Broome County Clerk’s Office. 

If you filed Transcript of Judgment in another County, you should request Certificate of Disposition from the Broome County Clerk’s Office ($5.00 fee) for filing in the other county.