Seizure Orders

Imagine you are sitting at home one evening enjoying your dinner when suddenly a gentleman with a badge and some official looking paper titled “Seizure Order” shows up at your home. He has a flatbed or tow truck.  He informs you that he is there to pick up that car you just paid off, or the Harley Davidson motorcycle that you just bought with an unexpected inheritance.  Its evening and you cannot reach your attorney and there is nothing that you can do to legally stop him from taking your prized possession.  Such is the life of those on the receiving end of a Seizure Order.  This is by far one of the most effective means of judgment enforcement available to creditors because, simply, people don’t like to “have their stuff taken away.”

Seizure Orders are just that, orders from a local Circuit or District Court Judge that allows an authorized court officer to take enough of your personal property to satisfy the court judgment that was entered against you. A Seizure Order can be obtained 21 days after entry of a final judgment.  It is submitted to the court and once issued, is put into the hands of a court officer for service upon the debtor.

Vehicles, motorcycles, snowmobiles and other “toys” are the most common items seized by court officers as they are usually the most readily accessible. Once seized, the court officer must post a notice of sale in 3 public places within the city or township where the sale is to take place.  The location, date and time of the sale must also be included in the notice.  Finally, the notice must be posted at least 10 days before the sale is to occur.  Once the items have been sold, usually at public auction, the court officer sends the proceeds of the sale to the creditor, less statutory fees and expenses incurred in conducting the sale.

Frequently, debtors will “find money” either at the time the seizure is taking place or before the sale occurs, and will pay off the full judgment balance immediately. Again, debtors hate to “lose their stuff” which is what makes the Seizure Order one of the most effective means of judgment enforcement available.

My law practice focuses on collections. I am experienced in collecting all types of accounts and am knowledgeable with the requirements of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and other state and federal laws governing how debts may be lawfully collected. Please feel free to email me at or to learn more about me, visit

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