How to Pick A Judgment Enforcer

August 11, 2023

Start with JudmentBuy! Judgment enforcement is not easy, and there has always been a problem when judgment debtors move, or are in another area – how do you enforce a judgment against them? Because the laws are complex, most people use judgment enforcers.

How do you pick the right judgment enforcer? Here is a check list:

1) Do they have a web site that clearly shows their contact information? (Beware of judgment enforcers that hide their names, phone numbers, and email addresses, or hide their domains with a proxy service)

2) Have they recovered any judgments already?

3) Do not pay too much attention to references supplied by the judgment enforcer. (Beware that references are often the top 1 percent of results obtained. Just like a contractor who can do 95 shoddy projects and 5 good ones – they can show you 5 references – but are 95% likely to do a shoddy job.)

4) Look at the court records – especially if the court is online. Search for the judgment enforcer’s name or company name. (Beware if they have been sued before, although sometimes innocent people are sued.)

5) How responsive the judgment enforcer is. (Beware people or companies that never return emails or phone calls.)

6) How much they charge. Most judgment enforcers charge 50% of what they collect from the debtor. Note this is because most judgments are hard to enforce. Most judgment enforcers do not believe in unjust enrichment. This means if the judgment is very easy to enforce – most will not charge the full 50% – but they just cannot put this in writing – because nobody can predict accurately how hard a judgment will be to enforce. (Beware of judgment enforcers that charge 20-35% – they might be brand new, or desperate for business – or waste your time only working on the few judgments that turn out to be really easy to recover.)

Note that when the debtor is overseas, or is going to very hard to collect from, sometimes 90% for the judgment enforcer and 10% for you is fair!

7) How close the judgment enforcer is to your debtor. Judgments must be enforced in the same State, and better yet – the same county as the debtor. (Beware the judgment enforcer who takes all judgments – even thousands of miles from the debtor.) Important – if the judgment enforcer uses lawyers and Private Investigators in their business, if they are located near the judgment debtor – then that is fine.

8) The honesty of judgment enforcers. (Beware the judgment enforcer that guarantees they will enforce a judgment in a certain period of time. Time limits can create bailment – which is performing a service for another – something a mortal (not a lawyer) should not do. Beware a promise to collect money by a certain date – such promises are guesses.)

9) How informative the judgment enforcer is. (Beware the judgment enforcer that explains nothing to you, or does not have a web site that explains things.)

10) Make sure the judgment enforcer is operating within the law. (Beware of anyone who calls themselves an agency. Make sure they are meeting all of their state requirements for licensing, along with making sure their agents do the same.)

As important as the above checklist is, there is another checklist you – as the owner of the judgment should follow:

1) Have realistic expectations – judgment enforcers are not magicians – if your debtor is poor – it is going to be a long time before any judgment money is recovered (if at all).

2) Be patient – judgment enforcement takes months in the best of circumstances. Do not harass or pester a judgment enforcer. Ask them how it’s going no more often then once every 3 months. If the debtor is poor, limit yourself to asking less than once a year.

3) Understand there is no guarantee. Anything can happen. The debtor can file for bankruptcy protection. The debtor can lose their job, get sick, become disabled, or die.

4) Note that it is hard to go after debtors that are very young or very old. Pensions, Social Security, retirement plans – are all off limits. This is not always fair – but it is the law.

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