Suing Someone With No Money
Have you ever wondered if you could sue someone who is penniless? Yes, you can. If the defendant is proven guilty in court, you have the right to pursue your judgment claims.
Strategies For Someone With No Money
Contrary to belief, it is possible to sue someone who has no money. This is because the decision of the courts does not depend on the size of your debtor’s pocket – if they are guilty of the charge, then they are legally obligated to pay you.
Getting your money out of someone with no money can be harder than you think. This is because they have the option to:
- Prove they are judgment-proof: This means they are telling the courts they have no money or available assets to pay off your judgment claim. Simply, they can be exempt from collections before a judgment is made in court.
- Apply for a Declaration of Exempt Income and Assets: They can put a ‘cant-touch-this’ order on their salaries and properties to prevent you from claiming them for debt settlement. Some examples of properties and income that qualify for this are child support funds, unemployment benefits, and disability benefits.
- File for bankruptcy: Filing for bankruptcy means that they can no longer pay any outstanding debts as planned. When the recipient you are suing is legally bankrupt, your chances of receiving your payment can be long gone.
Steps To Suing Someone Without Money
Even if the person who owes you money claims they can’t, you have the option of waiting to sue once they are able to pay. Check your state’s statute of limitations to see how long you can wait to sue someone. If you’re thinking about suing your debtor in small claims court even if they have no money, below lists the steps on how to do so:
|Steps to sue a debtor||Additional information|
|Gather all evidence||Get the following:
Include any other evidence that further proves you had a contract with or incurred damages from your debtor.
|Calculate debt owed||Using your evidence, bank transactions, and invoices, set an exact amount you are owed. Ensure it is accurate.|
|Serve a demand letter||It is generally a wise step for you to first serve a demand notice before you sue.
A demand letter simply tells your debtor that they have limited time to pay off what they owe or meet you in court.
You can use DoNotPay to prepare and deliver a demand notice to your debtor.
|File your claims in court||Your claims contain how much you are owed and what respite you seek in court, and you are to submit it to the court. Be sure to check with the clerk what documents you need.
Most small claim courts charge a fee to file a claim.
|Serve your claim to the debtor||Your debtor must sign to indicate that they have received the court papers. Check your state’s service of process rules to ensure you are complying with the procedure.|
|Appear in court||You cannot appoint a lawyer to represent you in small claims court, so be prepared on the day of the hearing.|
How To Get Judgment Claims From Someone With No Money
When the court eventually grants a judgment in your favor but your debtor raises the “broke claim” here are a few ways you can still get your money from them:
- Garnish their wages: You can get a second order from the court to deduct part of what they owe from their income before they get paid. Check to see what percentage your state allows.
- Get a lien on their assets: You can have the courts grant you claim rights on their property, bank balance, valuable equipment, or real estate.
- Hand over the debt to a debt collector: A professional debt collector can help you receive your payments when they are able to pay.
- Anticipate their future income: Unless your debtor is above sixty and living on social security, there’s always a chance that they’ll stumble upon some income in the future. You can choose to keep the judgment valid by renewing it in anticipation of a future income.
- Target their professional licenses: A debtor who claims to have no money but is a member of a professional organization (ex: lawyer, doctor, banker) can have their license placed on temporary watch with the possibility of withdrawal. Notify the professional organization in writing.
Sue Someone With DoNotPay
Suing someone with no money can be cumbersome, if not confusing. Luckily, DoNotPay streamlines the process and helps you create a demand letter, file small claims papers, and get you ready for court. All you have to do is:
- Log in to DoNotPay and select the Sue Now product
- Enter the amount of compensation you seek
- Select whether you want a demand letter, court filing forms, or a script
- Describe the reason for the lawsuit and submit any applicable details, including contract forms, bank records, and photo proof.
In just 4 steps, DoNotPay will help you sue someone, regardless of their ability to pay you. You don’t have to worry about sending your papers – DoNotPay can also mail your demand letter and court papers to the debtor and court!
Sue Companies With DoNotPay
Not only can you sue individuals with DoNotPay, but you can also sue companies! Is there a business that owes you money? Here are some of the companies DoNotPay has helped users sue:
- United Airlines and other airlines
- Geico and other insurance companies