If you are owed money, and there is no property of the debtor (what we call a person who owes money) that you can seize and sell to satisfy the debt, another powerful tool you can use as part of a lawsuit to force the debtor to pay you is to attach his or her wages.
Vermont law allows true wage garnishment (in other words, after the court gives you an order approving the attachment of the person’s wages, the debtor’s employer has to make payment directly to you).
New Hampshire also allows you to go after a debtor’s wages to satisfy his or her debt to you, but is not a true garnishment state. In New Hampshire, the process is called a motion (a request to the court) for periodic payments. The court will hold a hearing the debtor must attend and make the debtor fill out a financial questionnaire. The court will then determine a weekly or monthly amount the debtor must pay you.
Whether you are in New Hampshire or Vermont, the law also allows you to engage in a process called “discovery” before any hearing is held. Discovery allows you to serve written questions and requests to produce documents on the debtor so that you can discover his or her financial information, and even allows you to take a deposition (a recorded interview you can use in court). The debtor must respond to discovery requests within 30 days, and the information can be used in court. Discovery is a powerful tool when used in conjunction with a request to the court to attach the debtor’s wages, and often results in the debtor finally just giving up and paying you what you are owed.
This law office has been aggressively pursuing wage attachments and motions for periodic payments to aid creditors who have not been paid for nearly 30 years. If your company or you are in need of legal assistance to collect a debt, call our office at 800-909-LAWS (5297) or email us. Because all cases are subject to a statute of limitations that limit the dates within which a lawsuit may be brought, call without delay to ensure you do not waive any of your rights.