A money judgment is awarded either after trial, or if the case is not contested, by way of a default judgment. The next step is to try and collect on the judgment, but the defendant has no assets at the time you received the money judgment. Judgments are good for 10 years and can be renewed every 10 years, while accruing interest. You must prevent your judgment from automatically expiring by requesting renewal of the judgment with the court BEFORE the 10 years run out. If the judgment is not renewed, you cannot enforce it any longer and will not be able to collect the money you were awarded by the court (California Code of Civil Procedure §683.010 to 683.220).
You are entitled to interest on the principal amount from the date you receive the judgment until it is collected at the rate of 10% per annum (California Code of Civil Procedure §685).
To renew a judgment, complete the form Application for and Renewal of Judgment and Notice of Renewal of Judgment. File the completed form with the court (the same court in which the judgment was entered) and pay the fee to the court. All documents must be served on the defendant personally or by first-class mail and a Proof of Service must be filed with the court clerk. Make sure to include the interest accrued after receiving the judgment on the application.
Set a reminder to renew your judgment at least 9 years after you receive the judgment.