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DC Judgments

     Copyright (c) 2014 Mark Shapiro

This article summarizes certain Washington, DC judgment laws. Washington DC was formally the District of Columbia, and is called Washington D.C by some, "DC" or just "The District"; is the capital of the United States. DC is on Federal lands, and is not part of any State.

One of my many judgment-related: I'm a Judgment referral expert, not a lawyer. This article is only my opinion based on my long term experience, please consult with an attorney when you require legal advice.

A judgment means the court orders that one person or entity owes some other person or entity. In a civil or criminal or family lawsuit, when a jury or judge awards a money judgment, the judgment gets entered in the court's records and then could get recovered. However, the court won't make your debtor pay, and few judgment debtors will pay voluntarily.

In all states, judgment liens can attach to your judgment debtor's real estate property. In some states, liens are permitted (most often via a UCC lien that references the judgment) on the judgment debtor's personal property, e.g., your debtor's toys, collections, art, jewelry, vehicles, etc.

In DC and also every other state, if the Washington DC debtor owns real estate property(s), the creditor can file their judgment lien on that property, and may be paid from the eventual sale of their judgment debtor's property.

DC did not seem to use any UCC lien support until 2001; now in DC, UCC personal property liens are now permitted. Note that with no court judgment, a UCC lien usually has little effect.

In DC, to attach a lien, the judgment creditor records their judgment lien with the DC Recorder of Deeds. DC judgment liens are good for twelve years, even when the judgment debtor's property is sold.

In DC, the judgment creditor's ability to recover anything using a judgment lien may become useless because of several things. The first possible roadblock is the homestead (currently $67.5K) exemption or the (not nearly as common) domicile exemption, if the property is the debtor's primary home. The domicile and homestead exemptions are fixed amounts of equity that can't be levied by average judgment creditors.

Some other possible problems are previous secured liens and loans that may already be tying up the property, or bankruptcy or foreclosure proceedings. For such complications, you might want to retain an experienced Washington DC bankruptcy or debt.

A very important DC judgment law is 2012 District of Columbia Code Section 15-101, it specifies the recoverable period of judgments, and also how soon they will expire.

As per D.C. Code 16-542: A judgment attachment can be issued with a judgment (in some situations before a final judgment is rendered) with a Fieri Facias, named a writ of execution in some other states. Most judgment enforcement expenses may be added. (This law is truncated for the article size.)

D.C. Code 16-546 states: An attachment shall be levied upon credits of the defendant, in the hands of a garnishee, by serving the garnishee with a copy of the writ of attachment and of the interrogatories accompanying the writ, and a notice that any property or credits of the defendant in his hands are seized by virtue of the attachment.

D.C. Code 16-547 states: Where the property or credits attached or sought to be attached are held by the garnishee in the name of or for the account of a person other than the defendant, the garnishee shall retain the property or credits during the period pending determination by the court of the propriety of the attachment or the rightful owner of the property or credits. During that period the garnishee shall incur no liability whatsoever for the retention.

As per D.C. Code 16-550: The court may make all orders necessary for the preservation of the property attached.

As per D.C. Code 16-552: In any case in which a writ of attachment is issued, the plaintiff may submit interrogatories in writing, in such form as may be allowed by the rules or special order of the court, to be served upon any garnishee, asking about any property of the defendant in his possession or charge, or indebtedness of his to the defendant at the time of the service of the attachment or between the time of service and the filing of his answers to the interrogatories. (Truncated for the article size.)

As per D.C. Code 15-108: The interest rate at which judgments accrue, in an action in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia or the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to recover a liquidated debt on which interest is payable by contract or by law or usage the judgment for the plaintiff shall include interest on the principal debt from the time when it was due and payable, at the rate fixed by contract, if any, until paid.

As per D.C. Code 28-3302: In an action to recover damages for breach of contract the judgment shall allow interest on the amount for which it is rendered from the date of the judgment only. In an action to recover damage for a wrong the judgment for the plaintiff shall bear interest.

As per D.C. Code 15-109: The rate of interest is 70% of the rate of interest set by the Secretary of the Treasury pursuant to section 6621 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 for underpayments and overpayments of tax to the Internal Revenue Service...

Other DC judgment-related laws to check out are D.C. Code 16-551, D.C. Code 16-553, and D.C. Code 16-556.

When you want to find a Washington DC judgment collection solution, visit the District Of Columbia Bar Association's website at:, or contact a judgment broker

Article Source:

Mark Shapiro - Judgment Broker - - where Judgments go and are quickly Collected!

Posted on 2014-09-26, By: *

* Click on the author's name to view their profile and articles!!!

Note: The content of this article solely conveys the opinion of its author.

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