Once association counsel obtains a personal Judgment against a unit owner for failure to pay maintenance fees, late fees, attorneys’ fees and costs, and other charges, we look for ways to collect on the Judgment. One method of collecting on the Judgment is by garnishing the unit owner’s wages.
The process starts by conducting an employment search. Once we find that a unit owner is employed, we file a Notice of Application for Wage Execution, Order, Certification and Execution against Earnings pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 1673 and N.J.S.A. 2A:17-56. After a judge signs the Order allowing for the wage execution, the case is assigned to a Court officer. The Court officer then takes the Order and serves the unit owner’s employer with a copy of the Order. The Order has specific instructions to the employer mandating him/her to garnish the unit owner’s wages. In no event shall more than 10% of the unit owner’s gross salary be withheld.
The employer is ordered to deduct a certain amount from the earnings and to pay that sum over to the Court officer. Once the Court officer receives the monies, he/she forwards the check to association counsel, and this process continues until the Judgment amount, plus Court officer commissions, is paid in full.
Many times, once a unit owner notices that his/her wages are being garnished, they contact association counsel to pay off the Judgment amount, so that the association will put a stop on the wage garnishment process. Either way, we find the wage garnishment process to be an effective method of collecting on Judgments.