What Is “Poundage” and What Does It Have to Do With Judgments in New York?

When a creditor obtains a judgment against a debtor in New York the judgment creditor will typically seek to enforce the judgment and recover money to satisfy the judgment. This topic is covered in prior Blog posts and on the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on our web site.

A common method of enforcement of a judgment is by a writ of execution against the judgment debtor’s bank account or a wage garnishment. This is accomplished with the assistance of a New York City Marshal in New York City or County Sheriff.

When the Marshal or Sheriff receives a judgment for enforcement they add five percent (5%) to the amount of judgment as their fee. This statutory fee is called “poundage”. For each $1 the Marshal or Sheriff recovers from the judgment debtor they cut 5ยข. However, the total amount of the judgment is also increased by 5% to account for poundage.

For this reason if a debtor has a judgment against him or her and has the ability to pay, even if only over time, it may make sense to contact the judgment creditor or its attorney or debt collector to try to arrange direct payment. If a judgment debtor makes direct payment arrangements with the judgment creditor before a writ of execution is given to the Marshal or Sheriff then the judgment debtor will not be responsible for poundage.

At Starr & Starr, PLLC we represent businesses in collection of past due receivables owed from other business (i.e., B to B collections), including through enforcement through the Marshal or Sheriff. We also represent individual debtors as debtors in pending collection lawsuits in New York Civil Court and New York Supreme Court, and in defending judgment enforcement matters, and in personal bankruptcy cases. Please feel free to contact us at 888-867-8165 to schedule a consultation.

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