A Guide to Collecting Money from a US Court Judgment Internationally

Winning a court judgment is a significant achievement, but the process doesn’t end there. The next crucial step is to collect the money awarded by the court. This can be exceptionally important if money needs to be collected internationally. While obtaining a judgment in your favor is a positive outcome, it is important to be aware that the responsibility of collecting the awarded amount often falls on the winning party. This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide on the various strategies and steps involved in collecting money internationally from a US court judgment.

Understanding the US Judgment:

Before delving into the collection process, it’s essential to understand the nature of the judgment obtained. Court judgments can take various forms, such as monetary judgments, property judgments, or injunctive relief. Monetary judgments are the most common and involve the payment of a specific sum of money by the losing party to the winning party. A special attention should be given to whether or not punitive damages were awarded as those are notoriously difficult to enforce internationally.

Identifying Assets:

Once a judgment has been obtained, the first step in the collection process is to identify the assets of the judgment debtor (the party against whom the judgment was entered). Assets can include real estate, bank accounts, vehicles, and other valuable possessions. Utilizing online databases, public records, and hiring a professional investigator can aid in locating these assets.

International Wage Garnishment:

One effective method of collecting a monetary judgment is through wage garnishment. This involves obtaining a court order to deduct a portion of the debtor’s wages directly from their employer. However, federal and state laws impose limits on the percentage of wages that can be garnished, so it’s essential to be aware of these regulations.

International Bank Levies:

Another option is to levy the debtor’s bank accounts. This involves obtaining a court order that allows a sheriff or other authorized entity to collect money internationally from the debtor’s bank accounts. It’s crucial to ensure that the account targeted is indeed owned by the judgment debtor and not protected by any exemptions.

International Real Estate Liens:

If the judgment debtor owns real estate, placing a lien on their property can be an effective way to secure payment. This can prevent the debtor from selling or refinancing their property without satisfying the judgment first. However, the process of enforcing a real estate lien can be complex and may involve further legal proceedings.

Debtor Examinations:

In some cases, conducting a debtor examination can be valuable. This involves bringing the judgment debtor to court and requiring them to provide information about their assets and financial situation under oath. Failing to comply with a debtor examination order may result in contempt of court charges.

Persistence and Patience:

Collecting money from a US court judgment can be a time-consuming and challenging process. It requires persistence and patience as you navigate through legal procedures. It’s crucial to stay organized, keep detailed records, and consult with legal professionals to ensure you follow the appropriate steps in accordance with state and federal laws.


Winning a court judgment is a significant accomplishment, but the journey doesn’t end there. Collecting the awarded amount requires diligence, strategic planning, and knowledge of legal procedures. By understanding the various methods available, identifying the debtor’s assets, and working within the legal framework internationally, you can increase your chances of successfully collecting the money owed to you. Remember, consulting with legal professionals and staying informed about applicable laws is essential throughout the collection process.

We have extensive experience with collecting money internationally and domesticating your US court judgment.


The material in this post represents general information and should not be deemed legal advice. Any use of the website DOES NOT create or constitute an attorney-client relationship between German American Real Estate & Immigration Law Center, LLC (law firm) or any employee of or other person associated with the law firm and a user of this website. It is intended as an educational resource for
understanding the laws. Since the law is continually changing, some parts of this website may become outdated before the next update. It is always best to consult an attorney about your legal rights and responsibilities regarding your particular case.