Judgment Time Limits

August 12, 2023


When you assign your judgment to someone else, or contract it out to some other person or company: the time limits for when you might get your judgment back (usually only if the judgment enforcer was making no progress), varies a lot. Starting in 2014, many recovery specialists and attorneys have shortened the minimum times before you could get your judgment assigned back. Years ago, one year or more, was common in states that allowed time limits in assignment agreements.

This article is my opinion and is not legal advice. I am a judgment broker, and not a lawyer. If you ever need a strategy to use or legal advice|legal advice or a strategy to use, please contact an attorney.

At first glance, shorter time limits make no sense; with so many courts and Sheriffs downsizing, and so many slowing down the issuing and processing writs of execution. It can take months to find out the results of a levy attempt, and months more to actually be paid. Judgment recovery attempts depend more on the calendar, than the clock.

Many companies have started to reduce the time limits for you to be able to get your judgment back from them. One company told me you can get your judgment back each 30 days, unless there is a levy action currently in progress. This makes sense, because who wants to spend money on a judgment with no available assets showing? Some recovery companies would rather return unproductive judgments, than having to constantly provide reports on “lemon” judgment situation.

I think a limit of every 6 months might be better, because it reflects the current response times of finding assets and asking and paying the court and Sheriff and/or a registered process servers to perform a levy attempt.

When your judgment debtor has no available assets, it probably does not matter if you get your judgment back. Most judgments are worthless. Also, contracts are often worth no more than the weakest person that signs them. Starting in 2014, it seems many judgment enforcers are closing their businesses without assigning back the (Original Judgment Creditor’s) OJC’s judgment. That is very wrong, and could tarnish the name of some good judgment enforcers. Judgment enforcers leaving the business, or having no short or long potential term plan for attempting to recover a particular judgment, should assign it back, notarize it, and then file that assignment at the court.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with not documenting any time limits at all. The wordings on most judgment contracts and assignments say: “without recourse.” Also, complex judgment recovery can take many years.

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