The Burke Law Group, PLLC
Old City Hall Building
221 N. Wall St., Suite 624
Spokane, WA 99201

Main Office: (509) 466-7770
Collaborative Law: (509) 999-6747


Collection of money owed to you through the various remedies available at law. It is often frustrating to know that someone owes you money, but has elected to leave that debt unpaid. We can help you get what belongs to you.  Some of the steps of a typical legal collection are stated below to give you a better sense of what is involved with a collection action against a debtor.

Initially, the creditor obtains a judgment against the debtor. 

The next step is to attempt to collect on said judgment by “attaching” the debtor’s assets or income. Different ways of collecting on a judgment include a writ of garnishment on the debtor’s income/compensation/bank account(s), a lien on real property, or a debtor examination to determine what the debtor owns.

A writ of garnishment allows the creditor to attach the debtor’s wages/compensation.  Essentially, if a garnishment is executed properly, monies are paid from the debtor’s employer to the judgment creditor.  A debtor’s bank account(s) can also be garnished, if the proper paperwork is filed with the Court and served on the appropriate financial institution. 

A lien on real property will prohibit the debtor from refinancing or selling his/her real property without having to pay the judgment and all interest incurred first.  In order to ensure that the lien appears on the title for the real property, the judgment needs to be properly recorded in the County in which the real property is located.  The lien can be recorded in more than one county if the debtor has real property in more than one county.

A debtor examination allows the creditor to question the debtor at the Courthouse, with assistance from the Court if necessary, to determine the debtor’s assets that may be subject to attachment.  If the debtor has on his/her person anything of value, it can be requested that this item be placed with the Court for the purpose of (possibly) satisfying the debt. 


Meet Our Attorneys

Dena Allen

Principal / Member of the Firm, practicing in Family Law Litigation, Collaborative Law Divorce, Cooperative Divorce, Adoptions, Estate Planning, and Probate

John Burke

Of Counsel, practicing in Collaborative Law for Divorce, Uncontested Divorce and Estate Planning. On medical leave.

Matthew Fischer

Principal / Managing Member of the Firm, practicing in all areas of Family Law Litigation, Divorce and Uncontested Divorce. Also serves as a Spokane County Superior Court Pro Tem Commissioner

Cathy Helman

Associate Attorney, practicing in Appeals, Probate, Estate Planning, Family Law, and Bankruptcy. Also is an Administrative Law Judge Pro Tem with the Washington State Office of Administrative Hearings.

Joseph Linehan

Of Counsel, practicing in Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) appeals, Family Law Litigation, Divorce, and Dependency. Also serves as a Spokane County Superior Court Pro Tem Commissioner

Robin Schmahl

Senior Associate Attorney, practicing in Family Law Litigation, Uncontested Divorce, Estate Planning, Probate, and Guardianship

Rhylee Smith

Associate Attorney, admitted to practice in Washington and Idaho, practicing in all aspects of Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody and Support, and Modifications to Existing Orders

Kenneth Zigler, Jr.

Of Counsel, practicing in Family Law Litigation, Divorce, Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) and SSI benefits, and Lawsuits and Disputes including Personal Injury

Joanna Stranger

Rule 9 Intern, practicing in Family Law and Divorce