How do I recover my personal injury settlement money that my ex-husband illegally took? I have a judgment against him to return the settlement with no results. How can I get money now? Can I sell the judgment of said settlement to get money now and who do I go to for such a loan? My credit score is in the crapper from the divorce.

  • 17
    See a lawyer. This is beyond the internet's help. – Pete B. Jun 13 '17 at 14:44
  • "hope" :/ it's tough - what can you do? – Fattie Jun 13 '17 at 15:47
  • 2
    Is this in the US? What court issued the judgement (ie. civil court or small claims)? Was this part of your divorce settlement or is this a separate judgement? – quid Jun 13 '17 at 16:29
  • 1
    Its very confusing as written. Has the judgement been paid or not? If the judgement has not been paid, how could the ex take it "illegally"? If it was actually illegal, then why not file a police report? – Pete B. Jun 13 '17 at 16:29
  • @PeteB. I take it to mean that the OP won a settlement from an unrelated legal case that was (perhaps) paid into a joint bank account, he saw the deposit in the joint account and did a runner with the money. So this isn't really anything to do with the original judgement, this is just theft . – Dai Jun 13 '17 at 19:45

According to LegalZoom:

If your debtor is unwilling to pay and you know they have the means, it's time to use your local sheriff. You have three options to collect: a bank levy, wage garnishment, or a real estate lien.

It sounds like you'll need to reach out to your local police/sheriff's department and they can further help you out and get you your money.


In general, if this is in the United States, call your local bar association. Tell them you need a lawyer to help you collect a judgment. They will make a referral. The lawyer should know who can buy the judgment in return for cash.

You don't need to give details to the bar association, but you should plan on giving more details to the lawyer about why you need the money.

Since this is your ex-husband, your divorce lawyer might be able to help. It's unclear in your question whether you've already explored that option. The divorce lawyer might modify the divorce agreement to give you an asset instead of a monetary claim.

  • Does it matter why you need the money? I'd want money that I'm entitled to even if I didn't need it... – Mehrdad Jun 14 '17 at 2:25
  • It matters in terms of finding someone to buy the judgment. If you have a personal injury settlement and need the money to get treatment, that is likely to find more people willing to buy the judgment than if you're planning a blowout vacation. Legally it won't matter for collecting the judgment, but it might matter for what is effectively a loan against the judgment. – Brythan Jun 14 '17 at 4:08
  • What difference does it make for them how you use the money? It's not like it'd make it easier to collect if you need it badly, does it? – Mehrdad Jun 14 '17 at 5:04

A lawyer might be overkill for recovering a judgment. Do a google search for "judgment recovery service" in your area. They specialize in what you're trying to do.

The service will charge you a fee (usually 10%) for any monies recovered. What happens is that you assign the right to collect on the judgment to the service, and their staff can run with it from there. Whoever you contract with will get as much information as possible about your ex-husband: employment, businesses, and so forth. This information can be used to have levies issued by the state, wage garnishment and so forth. There is no given timetable for how long it takes.

If your ex is indigent, it would be hard to collect by way a recovery service or an attorney, because you can't collect what he doesn't have.


Do you have the following information?

  1. Do you know where he does his banking and his checking account number? If he's ever sent you a check and you've deposited it, you can look at a copy of the deposit and get his banking details.
  2. Do you know if he HAS the money? If he's broke you won't be able to collect the judgement. If you have the judgement and know his bank account number they will tell you if he has money in his account to cover the judgement.

If the above conditions are met, you can use the county sheriff department to put a lien on his bank account. You can also garnish wages if he has a job but you don't know all of the above.


On the off chance that your indebted person is unwilling to pay and you know they have the methods, it's a great opportunity to utilize your neighborhood sheriff. You have three alternatives to gather: a bank exact, wage garnishment, or a land lien.

It sounds like you'll have to contact your nearby police/sheriff's specialty and they can additionally enable you to out and get you your cash.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.