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Copyright (c) 1998 TN JRNL OF PRAC. & PRO. 
The Tennessee Journal of Practice & Procedure

ARTICLE: Civil Practice: The Collection and Enforcement of Money Judgments in Tennessee

Summer, 1998

2 Tenn. J. Prac. & Proc. 3


Brent Patrick



The collection and enforcement of money judgments is an integral part of our justice system. Nevertheless, participants in litigation often have an overwhelming misconception that a money judgment in their favor terminates the judicial process. In some instances, this may be true. For the vast majority of cases, however, winning the judgment is only half the battle. In order to satisfy the judgment, it must be enforced against the real or personal property of the judgment debtor. Practically speaking, this means that the process of obtaining a judgment is only a stepping stone to the ultimate achievement of justice. The plight of the judgment creditor is not, however, as overbearing as it may initially appear. There are many well established and cost efficient methods for enforcing judgments in Tennessee. The purpose of this article is to explore those options and provide a comprehensive analysis of the enforcement of money judgments in Tennessee.

Despite its importance to the Tennessee civil practitioner, this topic has not received much coverage. 1 Recently, however, several important legislative and procedural changes have been implemented. These changes serve to both limit and assist the judgment creditor's ability to enforce a money judgment in Tennessee.

Part II of this Article introduces basic concepts of enforcing money judgments in Tennessee including the judgment lien and its perfection, enforcing foreign judgments, and competing interests in the debtor's property. Part III discusses several informal and formal methods for discovering assets of the judgment debtor with ...
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