As law librarians we can help you with your legal research. However we can't advise you on what you should do or what the laws mean for your particular situation. For legal advice you may want to contact the Oregon State Bar Lawyer Referral Service. The first in-office consultation with an attorney referred through this service is $35 or less. More information is available online at http://www.osbar.org/public/ris/ris.html.
There are a number of ways a judgment can be collected. The Oregon State Bar has a pretty good general article that discusses the small claims process. This article has a short section at the end that discusses the collection process.
How do I collect my judgment?
It is your responsibility to collect your judgment. The court cannot do this for you. It is up to you to find out where the defendant has assets (property) that can be seized to pay your judgment. If you have received a judgment and the defendant refuses to pay it, you may be able to have his or her wages or bank account garnished. The court does not provide garnishment forms. The forms may be purchased at a store that sells legal forms.
You also may put a lien on the defendant’s real property, have some of his or her personal property seized, or have your personal property recovered by the sheriff. If you do not know where the defendant banks or where the property is, you can ask the court to require the defendant to come to court and answer under oath questions about his or her property. You must pay for these methods of enforcing your judgment, but this fee is recoverable from the defendant. You will also have to prepare and file additional legal papers with the court.
The Oregon State Bar also publishes a practice manual titled Oregon Civil Litigation Manual. Chapter 30 of that book is titled "Collection of Judgments; Provisional Process". This chapter discusses in technical detail the various processes available to collect a judgment in Oregon. This book is available in our library and may be available in your local Oregon county law library.
We provide online access to NOLO books as well. Unlike the Oregon State Bar's books they are aimed at non-lawyers, however since they are national and general they will not have the same specific instructions relevant to Oregon. You may find Chapter 3 "Can You Collect Your Money if You Win?" of Everybody's Guide to Small Claims Court useful. You can read about how to log in on our web page.
I hope these books are helpful! If they aren't or you would like help getting a hold of them please do not hesitate to contact us.