So you are wondering: If the Defendant in an eviction (Unlawful Detainer) action doesn't file an answer and I simply take their default and go to the Sheriff, how do I collect on my unpaid rent and legal fees?
Answer: You can still file papers showing testimonial evidence through writings requesting the judge to grant you a money judgment. You have to file a Request, a Declaration and a Money Judgment setting forth all that is owed to you, and then once the money judgment is granted, you will want to record an Abstract of Judgment with the County Recorder's Office which puts a personal lien upon them until you can collect.
How can you collect? You can record the Abstract (which is good for 10 years and can be renewed for another 10) and then wait until they try to buy property or a car and then run to you to pay off their debt, or you can file a Wage Garnishment and attach their wages (if you know where they work), or if they have their own business, you can do some sort of a bank levy or till tap.
If you need help with any of these procedures, feel free to contact us. We are experts at obtaining money judgments and collection.