How much will you pay me for my judgment? That question makes judgment enforcers and buyers roll their eyes. The reason is, this kind of question tells them that person has no idea what a judgment is; and also, they may have a long and frustrating conversation ahead, with no sale resulting.
This article is my opinion, 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.
A judgment is just a piece of paper. If you spend time and money, they offer a chance to recover some money eventually. Every judgment is a situation that depends on the court document, the laws, the current and future status of the debtor, and their income, assets, and debts. Usually, if the debtor files for bankruptcy, judgments become worthless.
Many people believe their judgments have great value, even without a debtor. Nothing could be further from the truth. Without potential available assets coming from a known judgment debtor, a judgment is almost always worth zero. Anyone not providing debtor information with their judgment, will never get an accurate quote for its potential sale.
How much one gets from a judgment sale, depends on the copy of the judgment and due-diligence done on the judgment debtor; to estimate the chances of a potential recovery. A judgment is not fungible like a dollar bill is, a judgment’s cash upfront value depends on the debtor and extensive research. These are five mistakes that many judgment owners make, when trying to sell their judgment:
1) Asking for a quote over the phone. Nobody can give you an accurate cash upfront judgment sale quote over the phone.
2) Sending a copy of your judgment without any debtor information; or sending other documents, but not the judgment itself.
3) Sending a firm sale price demand or a short time response limit; for someone to buy your judgment. Most buyers throw incoming judgment copies away; if they come with demands such as “I will sell this $10,000 judgment for $5,000 if you buy it today”.
4) Over-shopping. If you forget who you sent your judgment to, it means you have shopped it too much. What you might get paid for your judgment depends only on the assets of your debtor, not on who you talk to, or send it to.
5) Trying to make buyers compete for your judgment. Nothing turns off a buyer faster than someone saying “I’ve sent this to ten other buyers, and I will sell it to whoever offers me the highest price”.
Quoting a cash upfront sale costs a lot of time and sometimes some money too. Why would a buyer waste their time, when there is a big chance all their work will be for nothing? If your debtor is poor, nobody will buy your judgment. If your debtor is rich, the price you get will be about the same, no matter where you send it.
If you want to sell your judgment, make sure you send a copy of it and what you know about your debtor. What a rotten scoundrel your debtor is, is not important. The debtor’s approximate age, last known address, their possible assets or income; all will help you get a realistic quote for selling your judgment.