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Quitting The Judgment Business
The economy (and sometimes laws in certain states) have discouraged most judgment enforcers. Many have closed down and ended their judgment recovery business. Unfortunately, some have not ended their business properly. One should take care when closing a judgment business, and to try to make the best of it.
Part of the decision to end a judgment recovery business is how much time and money gets used up by not making enough progress on enforcing judgments, and dealing with Original Judgment Creditors (OJCs) asking you why you are not making progress. As frustrated as one may get, when ending a judgment business, one must return all the judgments by assigning them back to the OJCs.
If you recovered something on the judgment, pay the OJC their share when you return it. What if you are short on funds and cannot afford to pay one or more OJCs their fair share of what was recovered? There is no easy or simple answer for this type of situation, but you should not ignore this situation.
If you are short on funds, perhaps send the OJC something, with an IOU for the rest, and pay them when you can. It is better to return the judgment and owe the OJC something, than to not return the judgment and owe the OJC money.
What if you spent money trying to recover the judgment, can you ask to be repaid before returning the judgment? My advice is to ask the OJC politely, to be compensated for anything you spent with residual value, for example recording liens, affidavits of identity, judgment renewals, having a judgment debtor examination served (in states where this creates a personal property lien - or when the exam uncovers valuable asset information), etc.
Unless your purchase contract specifies that you will be repaid for your costs, I would not recommend strongly insisting on being repaid, especially for costs that do not give the OJC any residual value. Of course, every judgment, situation, OJC, and enforcer is different. If you spent money trying to recover the judgment, try asking to be reimbursed. Consider compromising when appropriate.
If you are changing email addresses, phone numbers, or addresses, make sure to let the OJCs know. Running away from your obligations is a bad idea, it is better to work on solving this problem by returning the judgments.
Even if you get too many emails and calls from concerned OJCs, tell all of them all the same facts: You are winding down your business and you are going to return their judgment soon, and to please be patient.
If they respond badly, tell them you are doing the best you can, and you will return their judgment soon, and give them a time estimate. Your estimate should be twice as long as you think it will take for you to accomplish.
Each judgment must be individually assigned back to each OJC. All assignments must be notarized, and you cannot notarize your own documents.
After you mail out each returned judgment, email or call the OJC, and let them know you mailed the assignment back to them. If you can, it is best to first get the assignments court stamped to prevent complications for you, and hassles for the OJCs.
Take your time, returning judgments requires thinking about the situation involving each judgment. One idea is to return judgments in small batches, perhaps ten judgments at a time. After the details are considered, bring all ten to the notary, and perhaps then get the court to endorse the ten assignments of judgments.
When you write, call, or email the OJC, you can also refer them to a judgment broker that can find an expert to recover their judgment. You might be paid a referral fee for this, putting a positive spin on closing your business.
Assuming it is cheap to keep your web site up, even if you leave the judgment business, you should leave it up (perhaps taking your phone number off, or getting a Google Voice phone number to record messages) and send judgment leads to a judgment broker who will pay you for the leads.
See our other related article at: http://www.judgmentbuy.com/ReturningJudgments.html.
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