Civil Collections

The responsibility of collecting the court judgment is yours, not the courts. However, because you have a judgment, you have ways of collecting that you would not have otherwise. You have six years to collect on a small claim judgment.

You can find more information on Collections at theĀ Michigan Legal Help website.

Installed Payments:

The court encourages the parties to agree among themselves how a judgment is to be paid. If a lump sum payment is impossible, try to reach some agreement on installment payments. All payments will be made directly to you.


If the defendant will not voluntarily pay the judgment, and you know where money is owed to him, such as wages, bank accounts, rentals, etc. you may want to file a writ of garnishment to attach this money. A writ of garnishment may not be issued to enforce the judgment until the expiration of 21 days after it was entered. The Garnishment is filed against the person or business having possession of the monies. They are referred to as the garnishee-defendant. Income such as welfare, unemployment, social security, etc. cannot be garnished.

The Garnishee-defendant has 14 days after they are served the writ to let you, the court, and the principal defendant know if there are monies owed. In case of wages, you are not entitled to the defendant’s entire paycheck, but only a portion of it, as determined by a federal formula. You may have to garnish several pay checks to satisfy a judgment if no other payments are made. You must keep accurate records, the court does not. When payment or judgment is complete to your satisfaction, please notify the court in writing by submitting a Satisfaction of Judgment form MC17.

You can find more information on Garnishments at the Michigan Legal Help website.

Seizure of Property:

Filing a Request to Seize Property: You must wait 21 days after your judgment was signed before you can get an order to seize property. The court will issue the order by signing the form. The request and order to Seize property must be served on the person who owes money on the judgment. The order to seize property can only be served (executed) by a court-appointed officer. The court-appointed officer must file reports with the court and notify the parties of all property that is seized and any payments that have been made from that property.

You can find more information on Seizure of Property at the Michigan Legal Help website.