The economic meltdown means many are looking for new income sources. Many attorneys are also looking for new income sources.
Most civil lawyers make money creating judgments. Every year more and more lawyers are also starting to recover judgments as a way of increasing their income.
Anyone that recovers judgments needs to find judgment leads. Anyone that recovers judgments must also turn away judgments not right for them, for example when the debtors are in too far away, in another state or country, or where there is not enough assets showing, etc.
Most clients with judgments would prefer a contingency lawyer to enforce their judgment, because most have already paid plenty to get and keep their judgment, and don’t want to pay more on a retainer or by the hour. Most lawyers will only recover a judgment on contingency if the debtor has enough assets showing to pay off the judgment.
Generally, lawyers can only pay other lawyers for client leads and cannot pay anyone else (who is not a lawyer) for leads. Lawyers can refer leads to anyone and get paid.
How can lawyers compensate a (non-attorney) judgment lead provider? Most cannot, but the lawyer’s clients can. This makes sense when the lead provider is a judgment broker that finds the best contingency collections lawyer for the judgment owner, who may later become a client of the referred lawyer as a one-time arms-length referral transaction as a one-time lead referral.
A judgment broker makes money by helping judgment owners find the right contingency lawyer. A judgment broker gets paid only if and when money is recovered on the judgment. The way a judgment broker helps contingency lawyers find judgments, and judgment owners find the right contingency lawyer is:
1) The judgment owner sends a copy of their judgment and what they know about the debtor to the judgment broker.
2) The judgment broker screens the debtor for bankruptcy, makes sure the debtor can be found, and appears to have current or future assets.
3) The judgment broker finds the right contingency collections lawyer for the judgment situation. The lawyer signs a one-time, simple attorney-approved agreement with the judgment broker, to discount their contingency fees, for each referred judgment lead. The lawyer gets free judgment leads matched to their location and preferences.
If the lawyer accepts the judgment lead, they agree to discounts their contingency fee by 10%. For example instead of 50%, they charge 45% to their client. In a separate agreement with each referred client, the lawyer’s client sends the extra 5% they may get upon a successful recovery to the judgment broker.
4) The judgment broker contacts the judgment owner, and has the judgment owner sign a simple one-time agreement, to send any extra money they get because of the discount from the referred contingency lawyer. The judgment owner gets the best possible chance of recovering on their judgment, at no extra cost.
5) The judgment broker refers the judgment owner to the lawyer and is no longer involved, except to be notified if the judgment is enforced, and money is paid to the judgment owner.
Judgment brokers are good for lawyers when they have judgments that they need enforced, but don’t have time to personally enforce. The lawyer can make money referring unwanted (or time consuming) judgments in an arms-length transaction, to a third-party judgment broker. And lawyers can find judgment to enforce this way.
Judgment brokers are good for judgment owners because they find the right lawyer with no obligation, cost or hassle.