Glossary of Construction Collection Terms

Abstract of Judgment

An Abstract of Judgment is a summary of a judgment including the amount owing that is recorded in the county recorder’s office. An Abstract of Judgment notifies credit reporting agencies that calculate FICO scores, and most importantly, causes a judgment to attach to all real estate owned by the judgment debtor at the time of recording and all real estate later acquired by the judgment debtor.


To transfer all of an interest in personal property.

Bank Account Levy

A bank Account Levy is a legal process whereby a creditor may obtain all of the funds owned by a Judgment creditor deposited in one or more banks or credit unions, to be applied to a judgment that is owned.


See Surety, Surety Bond

Claimant or Lien Claimant

A Claimant is a person or entity, who has not been paid after providing labor, skill, services, materials, or equipment used in a work of improvement consisting of real property. A claimant has the right to file a mechanics lien and/or a Stop Notice.

Collection Fees

Fees that a debt collector will attempt to add to the debt to cover the expenses of collecting it.


A business or a person who attempts to collect a debt; may be a creditor or a debt collection agency.

Debtor's Exam

A Debtors Exam is a court proceeding in which a debtor is forced to appear in court to answer questions under oath asked by the creditor, his or her attorney, or an assignee of the debt. The debtor is required to answer questions about his or her income, employment, clients, customers spouses, assets, and provide other information that would assist the creditor in collecting the debt. Debtors must bring subpoenaed documents such as paycheck stubs, bank statements, or client lists. If the the debtor does not appear in court, the court may issue a bench warrant for the arrest property title documents including deeds, and other information that would assist the creditor in collection the debt.

Demand for Payment

A creditor’s or debt collection agency’s request for payment of an alleged debt.