Recovering judgments usually depends on our economic situation. In 2012, our general economy remains very weak, and that means that most debtors are now poor. Choice one is to scale back or close your judgment recovery business. Another choice is to work more and accept more difficult judgments, while becoming more hesitant to spend money attempting to recover them. You might also outsource some of your judgments, so you could enforce judgments further away, perhaps even nationwide.
Judgment brokers help judgment enforcers, collection agencies, and collection attorneys because they help reduce judgment shoppers, and they screen every judgment creditor and judgment debtor (using only public data records) for every judgment referral lead. This article is my opinion and is not, legal advice. I am not an attorney. When you ever need a strategy to use or legal advice, you should contact a lawyer.
In 2012, the overwhelming majority of judgments are difficult. Certain enforcers, collection agencies, and contingency attorneys might read my article and laugh, and say they never accept any but slam dunk easy judgments. In the current economic situation, simple judgments are becoming rare, and you may go a year without getting an easy one.
If there are realistic expectations, more contingency recovery experts will most likely have to accept some B-grade and grade C judgments to remain in business; being careful not to waste money on terminally judgment debtors. Most judgments have poor judgment debtors, and certain have clever judgment debtors who have hidden their assets. With either type of difficult judgment, the useful ideas are the same:
1) Creditors must reduce their expectations. Collection is often impossible, often takes a long time, and a fraction of a collection is a win. Just recovering five percent of what is due could often be considered a win.
2) There's nothing wrong with accepting a tough judgment if you don't waste much money on broke debtors. With broke debtors, just verify them every year or so, to determine whether the debtor comes into assets. Difficult judgments shouldn't take up a lot time. Over time, some available assets may show up in a group of difficult judgments.
How can you enforce judgments against broke debtors? One tactic is to look to determine whether their parents own property. If they do, record and maintain a property lien, in case your debtor one day inherits property. Another tactic can be to check annually for jobs judgment debtors may have gotten. In the current economy, most enforcers I know do not recommend looking for judgment debtor's bank accounts, unless you learn that they are receiving or earning income.
When your judgment debtor hid their assets; by definition, that's a difficult judgment. Nearly without any exceptions, every judgment owner wildly underestimates how costly and difficult it can be to discover and undo a fraudulent transfer; and how short the time limits are, to attempt and set aside fraudulent transfers. With sneaky judgment debtors, one can either:
A) Pay PIs and calendar and have served judgment debtor and third-party exams with document requests, to dig in deep, to try and discover the assets and the way to attach those assets.
B) Do nothing besides reevaluate the debtor's situation every year, and determine whether they have let their guard down, and have their available assets showing.
On large judgments having fraudulent judgment debtors having hidden assets, the strategy can be like that with broke debtors, except perhaps checking for bank accounts every few months is a good idea; and judgment debtor examinations with document requests might be a good bet. If there may be hidden available assets, money spent attempting to enforce a judgment is at risk, however there is a chance of collection.
Occasionally defendant business companies dissolve, or are now, or were, merely just PO boxes. The original judgment creditor should have sued people, or a parent company, or another company. For these kinds of judgment circumstances, one must prove alter ego, or attempt another expensive and complicated legal procedures (or give back their judgment). That can make sense if there's an actual reason to attempt to tie alter ego to the judgment, and if the possible alter ego have assets. Again, I'm not an attorney, only a reminder that many judgment collections require expenses, and out of the box thinking.
Nearly all judgment enforcers have judgments owners assign judgments to them. Yet, some don't file their assignment at the court until after they order a credit report on a debtor. Most often, if one owns a judgment, you have the right to pull a credit report on the debtor. If you pull a credit report and do not like what it shows, you could give back the judgment assignment document to a creditor, and explain you can't help. It's a good policy to tell the judgment creditor the reason that you rejected their judgment, to discourage them from over-shopping.
Check out the constantly improving site: http://www.JudgmentBuy.com - Judgment Enforcement. The free, easiest, fastest and best way to start recovering enforceable judgments. (Mark D. Shapiro)
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