Maryland Courts

Collecting on a Judgment

What Courts?
District Court
Self- Help Center

(for Civil Cases Only)

Assistance is available by phone,
in person, or by online chat. 
More about the Center

How do I collect on a judgment?

Once the court issues an order requiring the other person to pay money owed to you, that does not mean the person will write you a check that day. Normally, the court will not collect the money for you. If the defendant in your case is not willing to pay the debt or work out a payment plan, it is up to you to take the steps necessary to enforce the judgment. This may require further legal action. To begin an enforcement action, you will have to complete and file more forms with the court, pay the required filing fees and appear in court for additional hearings.

The court order requiring the other person to pay you is called a judgment. It is automatically recorded in the court that heard your case. You usually have to wait 10 days before you can take further legal action to enforce the judgment.

What type of case can I file?
Once the waiting period passes, there are three different ways you can collect on the judgment:
  1. Garnishing the other person’s wages;
  2. Garnishing the other person’s bank account; or
  3. Seizing the other person’s personal property or real estate.

You must file documents with the court and provide the other person with copies of all motions or correspondence you file with the court in order to garnish or seize money or property.

If the other person does not have a job, a bank account, real estate or other significant property, you may have difficulty collecting on the judgment.

For more information on how to collect on a judgment in District Court, see the brochure, Post-Judgment Collection - How to Collect Your Judgment in the District Court of Maryland (DC/CV 60BR)/Cómo cobrar ell fallo en el Tribunal de Distrito de Maryland (DC/CV 60BRSP).