Recently, our office appeared in front of the New Hampshire Supreme Court to argue on the issue of post-judgment interest. The Case was titled “Estate of Jack Bergquist” and the brief we prepared can be read here. In that case, the creditor obtained a Judgment on the Defendant, and periodic payments were made. Over the course of the next eight (8) years, the Defendant made all of his regularly scheduled payments until his death. Unfortunately, a balance remained on the Judgment, and the creditor claimed not only the amount of the Judgment minus any payments, but the interest accrued since the date the periodic payment order was made. The two main questions to be resolved were whether a Plaintiff is required to request post-judgment interest as part of the Judgment, and two, whether the order of periodic payments cuts off the interest from being accrued.
However, while the decision is up to the New Hampshire Supreme Court, it outlines an issue many of our clients face. If a Judgment is obtained, and the Defendant takes a year to pay, how do I get the full benefit of those funds? Well, in the first instance, interest is awarded on Judgments from the date suit is filed until the Judgment is rendered under New Hampshire law. This is accounted for at the conclusion of litigation by requesting costs and interest to be added. In all cases, it is important to assert your rights and not leave it up to the Court to assert them for you.
The second problem is the one we first addressed: why should the Defendant get the benefit of not paying me when the interest I could have earned is lost. This is a problem many Judgment creditors face, and it is important to talk to an attorney to find out how to assert your rights in the most complete and efficient way possible. This way any judgment creditor can be proactive in asserting their complete rights