Writ of Fieri Facias & Personal Property Levy

Writ of Fieri Facias (Fi-Fa)

We do not have any authority to enforce a judgment. Your judgment has to be converted to a Fi-Fa by the Clerk of the Court where you obtained your judgment.

A Writ of Fieri Facias (Fi-Fa) is a court order commanding the Sheriff to collect a judgment by either getting the money or to levy and sell sufficient property of the person(s) named in the Fi-Fa to satisfy your judgment. To "levy" means to seize or attach property by judicial order and to then convert the seized property into money through a Sheriff’s Sale to satisfy the judgment.

Most property seized (levied upon) is personal property, but under certain circumstances, we can also seize real property. See the Real Property Levy page for our requirements for a real property levy.

Requirements for a Personal Property Levy

In general we will make a 10-day money demand on the defendant by a personal contact with the person(s) named in the Fi-Fa or by leaving a letter at the person(s) home if we are unable to make personal contact. This is an optional process since it is not required by law, but in some cases can be effective. If the defendant says that they cannot or will not pay, then we will return the Fi-Fa to you with the results of our money demand.

It is then up to you to provide us with any known assets of the defendant that are unencumbered (no security interest, no UCC filing, no secured debt, no liens, etc.). You can take your original Fi-Fa to the Georgia Department of Revenue, Motor Vehicle Division in Hapeville, GA to determine if the defendant has any motor vehicles that are either in his/her name or the name of the corporation (if applicable).

Once you have determined any assets you must:

  • Give us a letter requesting that we do a levy, describing these assets and the address where you would like us to do the levy.
  • Either give us a printout from the Motor Vehicle Division showing vehicles owned by the defendant, or a letter certifying that an UCC search has been done and that there are no liens on the assets you are asking us to levy upon.

Prior to levying, the plaintiff must pay certain fees in advance. They are generally, but not limited to:

  • Legal Advertising in The Forsyth County News for 4 weeks
  • Wrecker and wrecker lot storage fees if a vehicle is to be seized
  • Storage fees at a place deemed safe and secure by the Sheriff’s Office located in Forsyth County, if appropriate
  • Labor and transportation cost for the physical seizure and movement of any property levied upon, if applicable

All of this will be discussed with you by a supervisor prior to levying.

After the Levy

Once the levy has been done, the items are placed in a secure area in Forsyth County selected by the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office and paid by you or in a wrecker lot in the case of vehicles.

The seized property is then advertised for 4 consecutive weeks in The Forsyth County News (legal organ of Forsyth County) and then sold on the 1st Tuesday of the month.

While we provide some assistance to you, we are unable to do skip tracing or to identify specific property to levy upon. These 2 tasks must be done by you. We do make a money demand. Please refer to O.C.G.A. § 9-13-50 and O.C.G.A. § 9-13-16.

Nulla Bona

Writs of Fieri Facias will expire (go dormant) after seven (7) years from date of filing with the Clerk’s Office. The process by which you can renew your Fi-Fa is by requesting a Nulla Bona from the Sheriff’s Office. That is a determination by the Sheriff’s Office that there is no property which can be found to levy upon and once filed with the Clerk’s Office, can renew the Fi-Fa for another 7 years.

The fee for requesting a Nulla Bona is $20. The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office will NOT forward the Fi-Fa to the Clerk’s Office for filing.

If you are requesting a Nulla Bona, please send us the Fi-Fa no later than thirty (30) days prior to expiration date. The Sheriff’s Office cannot enter a finding of Nulla Bona on a dormant Fi-Fa.

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