a consumer is adding the collection costs and interests

Adding Collection Costs & Interest to Judgment

If you paid fees to the Sheriff or Court Clerk, you can add those amounts to your judgment. You can also add 10% interest from the date the judgment was entered.

Adding Collection Costs & Interest to Judgment

Court forms are available at California Courts – Forms. Select “Small Claims” from the pull down menu. Forms are also available at the Court Clerk’s office. Completed Sample Forms are available here. Starting September 2, 2021 all litigants in Small Claims Court can appear virtually or telephonically for FREE. Read the details from the court here

If you win your case, the money the court awards you is called the judgment. You are called the Judgment Creditor and the person who owes you the money is the Judgment Debtor. After you win your case, you may have to pay fees to the Sheriff, the Court Clerk and others to collect your money. The money you spend to collect your judgment are your collection costs.  The law allows you to add most of your collection costs and interest, to your judgment.

Common collection costs

Fees paid to the court clerk for:

Fees paid to the Sheriff for:

  • Garnishing wages
  • Collecting from a bank account
  • A till tap or keeper

Fees paid to the Registrar-Recorder or DMV for:

  • Filing a lien on real property
  • Suspending a driver license

Be sure to keep receipts for these costs.

How often can I add collection costs?

You can add collection costs every time you spend money to try to collect your judgment. You have two years from the time you pay a collection cost to add it to your judgment.

How much interest can I add?

The law allows you to add 10% interest per year to your judgment.  To calculate this amount, multiply the unpaid judgment by 10%. Example: If your judgment is $5,000: $5,000    (total judgment) x    0.10    (10% interest) =   $500    (yearly interest) Divide by 365: $500    (yearly interest) ÷     365    (days in a year) =  $1.37    (daily interest) Multiply the daily interest by the number of days since the court entered the judgment.  If the judgment was entered 100 days ago: $1.37  (daily interest) x     100  (days unpaid) =   $137  (total interest owed) The daily interest x the number of days your judgment remains unpaid = the total interest owed.

How do I add my costs and interest to the judgment?

Take these four steps:

  1. Get the form called MC-012 Memorandum of Costs after Judgment, Acknowledgement of Credit, and Declaration of Accrued Interest.
  2. List your collection costs and the interest you are owed. List any money the Judgment Debtor has already paid you. Make a photocopy of the front and back of the form.
  3. Have someone over the age of 18 mail the photocopy to the Judgment Debtor and fill out the Proof of Service section on the back of the form. If you are only claiming interest, you do not have to mail a copy to the Judgment Debtor.
  4. Keep a copy of the form. Return the original to the court clerk’s office. There is no fee for filing this form.

Unless the Judgment Debtor objects to the costs being added, the court will review your form and add allowable costs to your judgment.

Court forms are available at California Courts – Forms.  Select “Small Claims” from the pull down menu. Forms are also available at the Court Clerk’s office. County of Los Angeles Department of Consumer and Business Affairs. Last change: August 26, 2021.

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