Most judgment enforcers know that succeeding in the judgment recovery business depends on what you know, how hard you work, what you study, how well you screen judgment cases, how long you have been in business, and how well-funded you are.
I am a judgment broker, not a lawyer, and this article is about improving judgment business efficiency, and ways to spend more time on profitable activities, and less time standing in lines, driving, and getting frustrated.
One of the biggest frustrations is when Original Judgment Creditors (OJCs) waste your time, and then do not return your paperwork. Some call you and tell you their life’s story, and how rotten the debtor was, and then repeat themselves for 1/2 an hour, and later do not return the paperwork you sent them.
One answer is to start using a mobile notary in your business. When you arrange for a mobile notary to visit all your local OJCs, you can often get a reasonable price for each notarization. The mobile notary delivers your papers, notarizes assignments, and returns or mails the papers back to you. This makes it easy for the OJCs, and helps to weed out the flakes. (If they will not sign when you provide a free notary at their door, then will sign your paperwork?)
If an OJC does not want a visit (at their choice of time and location) from a mobile notary, they may not be worth spending more time on. Better to bring up your mobile notary service early in your discussions with the OJCs, to help prevent them from wasting your time.
Mobile notaries only work in a limited geographic area, which should not be a problem, because another way to be efficient, is to only work judgments local to you and the court. The days of remote control judgment enforcement are mostly gone. One solution is to hire more than one mobile notary, another is refer judgments not close to you to a judgment broker or another judgment enforcer.
Another way to improve efficiency is to hire an attorney service. Attorney services are not very expensive, and you do not have to be an attorney to use one. An attorney service comes to your home or office every business day. They take your papers to the court, and pick them up when the court is done, and return them to you. Some also visit process servers. Skipping trips and parking costs at the court and process server, saves you considerable time and some money too.
Another way to improve efficiency is to start digitizing documents, and save them in folders on your (regularly backed up) computer. One easy way to digitize documents is to use a web-based fax service that emails you faxes as PDFs. You can fax yourself, and save the attachments as PDFs and then file them on your computer. This means less filing cabinets and less time doing filing.
Consider using a Macintosh computer if possible, or perhaps use a Mac when you can, because they are less trouble and easier to back up. Use free public record searches, for example Google or Bing, before using paid searches.
Another way to improve efficiency, is to work toward not allowing flakes and time leaches to waste your time. When someone asks you, what is your phone number when calling you, or if they email you, asking for your email address, it is best to keep communications short with people like that. When an OJC calls you more than once, keep the topic centered on “please send me a copy of your judgment”.
When you schedule debtor examinations, which are needed more than ever now, arrange them to save your time. Schedule exams at the same court for the same time. It is better to schedule four debtor exams at the same time, so the judgment debtors have to wait longer, and you go to the court once, instead of four times.
Do not save every email you get. Many professional shoppers will email 100 judgment enforcers per day for a week. Whenever someone emails you about a judgment, and you see the message was also sent to undisclosed recipients, consider deleting it. Such messages often result in a bidding war for a crummy judgment.
Finally, many posts on judgment-related email lists and forums are not worth saving, and some the brightest stars are too wordy. One solution is to have a folder on your computer with text or word files for each topic. If you find a useful post or email, copy and paste the text you want into a specifically named document. Edit out the fluff, and save only the useful parts, then save the file, and delete the original email.