Tennessee law doesn’t require judgment creditors to collect in any particular order. Seriously.

Is a judgment creditor required to exhaust its collection efforts against personal property before executing on real property?

If you asked 100 lawyers over the age of 60 this question, 80 of them would get the answer wrong. And every single one of them would be absolutely positive that they were right.

I’d guess that I have a argument with opposing counsel on this legal issue at least once a month, and it usually ends with them being absolutely certain that I am wrong.

What’s crazy is the answer is simple:

Execution against personalty need not precede execution against realty.

Tenn. R. Civ. P. 69.02

So, there you have it.

If you’re wondering, however, whether you should ever start the collection process with efforts to sell real property…well, that’s another blog post entirely.

Author: David

I am a creditors rights and commercial litigation attorney with Harris Shelton in Nashville, Tennessee.

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