Guide to Small Claims Proceedings in the District Court - The Disclosure Hearing

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At the disclosure hearing, you should be prepared to ask the debtor questions about the debtor's assets and income. The debtor will be placed under oath by the judge. You may present evidence to show that the debtor can pay the judgment. Either party may subpoena witnesses. The judge will determine whether the debtor should pay the entire amount at once or in installment payments, or whether property owned by the debtor should be turned over to you. A person who is awarded a money judgment is entitled to interest.

However, if the debtor's income or property is exempt under Maine law, the disclosure will be terminated, which means that you will have to wait six months before having the debtor brought back to court for another disclosure hearing. Examples of types of income that are exempt from court order include social security benefits, veteran's benefits and unemployment benefits. Other kinds of income and property are also exempt. A list of exempt properties is found in Maine Revised Statutes, Title 14 section 4422.

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