DEFINITION of 'Writ Of Execution'

A legal term that describes a court order that is granted in order to satisfy a judgment awarded to a plaintiff in a court of law. If a court issues a writ of execution, usually a local sheriff is charged with taking possession of property owned by the debtor. The property can then be sold in a sheriff's sale, with the money (or portion) from the sale given to the plaintiff to satisfy the terms of the judgment.

BREAKING DOWN 'Writ Of Execution'

A writ of execution is necessary when a defendant is required by law to make a payment to a plaintiff, but will not do so voluntarily. The writ of execution allows the sheriff to collect property that can be sold to produce funds for repayment. In certain cases, the debtor's bank account can be accessed. Certain funds of a debtor may be off limits to debt collectors even with a writ of execution, including Social Security income, IRA money and unemployment income.

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