Judgment Payment Arrangements

August 12, 2023

Presuming that your judgment debtor agrees to pay off your judgment, what is a good location and method of accepting payment? Ideally, you would never meet your judgment debtor face to face, after the judgment was rendered. They might be rude, or worse.

In general, it is best to get your judgment paid through the mail to your post office box. The second best way to get payment on a judgment, without seeing your judgment debtor; would be to have your judgment debtor pay the clerk of the court at the courthouse. Even these payment transportation methods have some drawbacks; examples are “The check is in the mail”, and the clerk of the court might hold your money for a certain period of time before you can get it.

If your judgment debtor insists on meeting you face-to-face, make sure this happens at a secure and public place. Do not meet your debtor at your house, their house, or a store, or a restaurant. Ideal places to meet your judgment debtor are at the courthouse or in the lobby areas of your local Sheriff or Marshall. The goal is to take advantage of a secure location, however not to involve the staff at the courthouse or Sheriff’s lobby area, unless you have to.

Make sure your judgment debtor is paying you in full, because it is too inconvenient to keep meeting them for partial payments. Ideally, you would get paid in full, and that would be that. 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.

In the real world, many people enjoy hearing their own voices. Often, judgment debtors feel a duty to tell you a bunch of information that you do not need to hear. Often, a judgment debtor will complain about the original judgment creditor, or tell you they were burned and do not really owe any money. Remind the judgment debtor, that what counts is the judge decided they owe the money. Let them vent a bit, however do not let them wear you down.

What forms of payment should you accept? The first choice is a cashier’s check from a bank. The bank is one more relatively safe place to meet your judgment debtor. And, you can get the advantage of watching them get their cashier’s check, which almost guarantees that check will be good. The second best payment form is a money order, from an issuer that you recognize.

The next payment choice is cash. Make sure it is not counterfeit, and be sure to provide a receipt, signed by both you and the judgment debtor, that lists the amount of cash paid. Make sure you both get a copy of the signed receipt. A personal check from your judgment debtor works too; however wait a few weeks to be sure that it clears, before satisfying the judgment. (Only) after you get paid for sure, promptly satisfy the judgment.

What if you can accept credit card payments, or have a PayPal account? The fine print on the contracts and agreements of PayPal and merchant credit card accounts, usually specify that holders of accounts cannot take payments toward satisfying judgments. (Check out ZenoTools.com)

If your judgment debtor is a business, you can usually be a bit more relaxed about getting paid. The larger and more successful the business, the more you can relax. If the company is big and successful, you can meet with their financial representative in their lobby, and take a check without worrying that it will bounce, etc. If the business is not big and not successful, then use your best judgment.

Lastly, often judgment debtors will agree to pay you a specific amount before meeting you in person, and then try to get a surprise deal from you when they meet you in person. This is not fair to you, and most likely they could pay you what they first agreed to pay, if they wanted to. Use your own judgment in this kind of surprise deal situation.

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