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What is a debtor’s exam?

A “debtor’s exam” may occur when someone has obtained a judgment against another party and has attempted to collect on that judgment, but the defendant or “judgment debtor” still has not paid the debt. It is a way to find out what property or assets the other party has that can be used to pay for the judgment. The plaintiff or judgment creditor can question the judgment debtor at a hearing about the amount and location of the judgment debtor’s assets (e.g., bank accounts, real property). See Iowa Code chapter 630. More information is available on the Iowa Judicial Branch website at: https://www.iowacourts.gov/for-the-public/representing-yourself/collecting-a-judgment/. Judgment debtor exams can involve serious legal questions involving rights to property and financial accounts, and you should talk to an attorney.

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