Are You Seeking Payment from Unpaid Promissory Notes?

Jeff Varcadipane

August 10, 2022

Are You Seeking Payment from Unpaid Promissory Notes?

A promissory note is, by definition, an unconditional promise to pay money to another party. Seeing that a promise is unconditional, there are typically not many legal defenses to the non-payment of a promissory note. A promissory note is also a contract, and any party seeking payment of a promissory note should seek the help of a New Jersey judgment enforcement lawyer.

You first need to determine whether a signed document will legally constitute a promissory note. In many cases, a document does not satisfy the parameters for the legal definition of a promissory note and may instead fit the legal definition of a routine contract, possibly containing provisions wholly unrelated to a promise to pay money.

Using Promissory Notes

A promissory note is largely similar to the common legal contract in the sense that it will lay out certain expectations and terms for an agreement between two parties. In order for a promissory note to be considered legally enforceable, it has to satisfy multiple legal conditions, such as containing both an offer of agreement and the acceptance of the agreement.

Every contract states the kind of services or goods that are rendered and also indicates how much the services or goods cost. A promissory note will differ in that it is usually based on the money or capital loaned, as well as repayment of the note. 

A promissory note also needs to contain the terms and conditions between the two parties who are involved. Not only must this include the amount of money or capital that was loaned, any applicable interest rate, and repayment schedule, but after both parties address the conditions of the promissory note and sign it, it will become a legally binding contract.

The most basic promissory notes typically include:

  • A date
  • The maturity date
  • The name of both the lender and the borrower
  • The principal amount of the loan
  • Whether a loan is secured or unsecured
  • When a loan is secured with collateral, what the collateral is and when the lender can take possession of the collateral 
  • What constitutes default
  • Consequences of default
  • The interest rate
  • The payment amount and frequency of the payment
  • The payment due date
  • Whether a loan has a cosigner and the name of the cosigner when applicable

Every promissory note is different. There are certain procedures you have to follow for enforcing the terms of a contract. 

The first step to enforcing a promissory note is usually to send a demand letter to a borrower. When no response to a demand is received, then a collections lawyer may file a complaint with a court and, depending on the amount owed, a lawsuit could be filed in the Special Civil Part or Civil Division

As far as enforcing civil judgments in these cases, some of the different enforcement tools available could include:

  • Information subpoena — A creditor can request an information subpoena that provides a set of written questions to help obtain information about a debtor’s assets and income.
  • Wage execution or garnishment — Wage execution is an order directing a debtor’s employer to deduct a specific amount from their paycheck until the creditor receives payment in full.
  • Bank levy — Bank levies allow creditors to freeze the funds in a debtor’s bank account to pay a judgment amount.
  • Seizure of assets — You may be able to apply to a court for an order that allows the sheriff to enter a debtor’s property, seize specific assets, and sell them at a public sale to satisfy the judgment.
  • Judgment liens against real estate — Liens against a judgment debtor’s real estate are created by docketing and enforced by levy and execution.

Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Consultation with a New Jersey Judgment Enforcement Lawyer

Did you need help enforcing the terms of a promissory note in the greater Paramus area or a surrounding community in New Jersey? Varcadipane & Pinnisi, PC handles both pre- and post-judgment collection efforts for clients all over the state.

Our firm understands how frustrating these types of cases can be for people, and we work tirelessly to ensure that our clients are able to achieve the most desirable outcomes for their cases. You can call (866) 643-0606 or contact us online to arrange a free consultation to discuss the details of your case and also answer any questions you may have.

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