Assuming that your judgment is valid and that you can find your judgment debtor, you need to discover what assets they might have, that might be used to recover your judgment. My articles are my opinions, and not legal advice. I am a Judgment Broker, and am not a lawyer. If you ever need any legal advice or a strategy to use, please contact a lawyer.
Where should you focus your judgment debtor investigation? Details about their available assets are more important than what their favorite color is. While most information about your judgment debtor can be helpful, it is best to focus only on investigating their assets.
What assets does your judgment debtor have, that might be reached with a Sheriff levy, to help satisfy your judgment? The only reason to learn anything else about them is if it might one day lead to discovering what available assets they have. For example, if a judgment debtor claims they are poor, however they have expensive hobbies; knowing what those hobbies are might be helpful.
Sometimes following your judgment debtor to work or their bank, provides all you need to know. If they have a job or a bank account, to be able to have a Sheriff levy them, you obviously must find out where. One of the cheapest ways to discover employment or where they bank, is to simply follow your judgment debtor when they leave home to go to work. After work, they might even stop off at their bank.
An often overlooked way to get this information is the person’s vehicle. If they work for a bigger company, they may have a parking sticker on the bumper or the window. More common is a parking permit placard hanging from the interior rear view mirror. Of course this takes some surveillance skills, but under the right circumstances you can find this information. If you are really adventurous, you can target their trash a few times and see if there is any information in there, such as pay stubs, papers with letterheads, etc. Other places to find employment are Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Search, look for recent divorce filings and then pull those records. There is a lot of good info in family law cases, Look for recent BK attempts and read the schedules, and Credit reports.
Discovering where your judgment debtor banks, is not so easy to find by following their vehicle. Perhaps following them on a weekend may catch them going to their bank. Tracking them is much easier when they live and work close to you. Following and tracking your judgment debtor can be done with one vehicle. However, using two vehicles to follow them works much better.
If you only have one vehicle, you should count on not succeeding on your first tracking attempt. If you follow too closely, your judgment debtor will notice, and it will be game over, because they will know what kind of car you have.
Keep your distance and follow their car as far as you can do safely. If you lose them, keep track of where you lost them, and the time of day. On your next attempt, you have two options. Option one is sometimes tricky: to start again shortly before the time and place that you first lost them; by watching for their vehicle on the road. Option two is easier, to again follow their vehicle right from the start, and initially stay further away from their car, and then get really close to them, shortly before the place that you lost them before, and then fall back again to avoid suspicion.
Having two cars to follow your judgment debtor, allows you to alternate which vehicle stays closest to their vehicle. This helps to prevent them from noticing that the same vehicle keeps following them. By using cell phones or two-way radios, both you and your helper can stay in contact and lessen the chance of losing the vehicle in traffic. The trick is to follow close enough that you do not lose visual contact with your judgment debtor’s vehicle, while staying far enough away that you will not get noticed.
Another cheap way to discover the judgment debtor’s place of employment (and perhaps also where they bank) is to ask someone who might know. It might be as simple as asking one of the judgment debtor’s neighbors or a friend or family member. Even better, ask an ex-spouse or ex-friend. They might tell you all kinds of information about your debtor.
If you do not know who your judgment debtor’s employer is, however you know what kind of work they do, that can give you some ideas. If you know they work as a plumber, call the plumbers listed in the telephone book (or found to be local using a web search) and ask for them by name. After several or many attempts, you might hit pay dirt.