Debt Collection – Foreign Judgments

The Martin Law Firm, P.C. is a debt collection law firm. We handle debt collection matters in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We often assist creditors or their attorneys domesticate a judgment in Pennsylvania that was already obtained in another state. This includes judgments from Federal or State courts. This is often necessary when the debtor or the debtor’s assets are located in Pennsylvania.


Domesticating a Foreign Judgment in PA

A judgment creditor from any state outside of Pennsylvania can transfer and enforce that judgment in Pennsylvania. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania adopts the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act (42 Pa.C.S. § 4306), which sets forth the guidelines for proceeding with the enforcement of an out-of-state judgment, also known as a “foreign judgment”. Section 4306 of the Act confirms that a judgment, decree, or order of a court of the United States is entitled to full faith and credit in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.


The Domestication Process

The process is relatively simple. We first obtain an exemplified judgment from the foreign state. We next determine the proper county in Pennsylvania. Then we file the exemplified judgment in that county’s court along with other formal documents. Procedurally, each county has its own filing requirements and fees. After the proper documents are filed, the Pennsylvania county court will treat the foreign judgment as if the judgment was originally obtained in Pennsylvania. This means that a debt collection lawyer can proceed with all available post judgment enforcement remedies and discovery on behalf of the client.


The Martin Law Firm Debt Collection Attorneys

We often work with out of state lawyers or the creditors themselves to enforce judgments here in Pennsylvania. After we file the foreign judgment, we use our expertise to locate assets and take the necessary procedural steps to take the assets to satisfy the judgment. Contact us today to discuss our fees and our strategy for enforcing foreign judgments.