When you win your judgment and you cannot, or do not want to recover it yourself, or pay a lawyer to attempt to recover it; you might want to try to sell it. A judgment is not like a gold coin or a house or a car, and it cannot be exchanged for money at a bank or used as collateral for a loan or sold on EBay. The potential value of your judgment depends only on your judgment debtor.
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.
One cannot find judgment buyers in a phone book, however that does not matter because phone books are becoming obsolete. The web is full of judgment buying companies that promise the moon and the stars, however contacting them is usually a waste of time and many do not respond at all.
When you begin a mission to try to find a judgment buyer, you must have information about your judgment debtor. The address where they were served notice of the lawsuit at, and their approximate age is an absoulute minimum. Nobody buys judgments over the phone, and any price quote requires knowing who your judgment debtor is. To find a potential judgment buyer, there are four options:
1) Search for a buyer yourself. Use the web, or ask your lawyer or someone else you know, to recommend a judgment buyer. This method can be very frustrating and time intensive. Months or years of searching, talking, and sending your judgment to people might go by, without successfully finding a buyer. Many judgments are tough and cannot be sold, and many also cannot be recovered.
2) Use JudgmentMarketPlace.com to list your judgment. You must provide a copy of your judgment. Sometimes it is free, sometimes you have to pay to list your judgment. The problem is this is a passive system, and the buyers there are not screened; and judgment buyers flaking out is a problem. Also, no matter what anyone says, what buyers pay only depends on your debtor, and most judgments sell for less than 5% cash upfront.
3) Use a judgment broker/JudgmentBuy to find a judgment buyer for you. You need to provide a copy of your judgment. The referrals are always free to you, and you get referred to judgment buyers having a known track record. And, if you are not satisfied with the referred buyer’s purchase offer, the broker knows other buyers and experts to attempt to recover your judgment on a future-payment contingency basis. Brokers know the track record of the best future payment contingency recovery experts, and you pay them nothing.
4) I recently found a new (to me) site, NationalJudgmentBuyers.com. Unlike most other sites, they seem to not require you to provide a copy of your judgment. However, I am sure that even they will never buy a judgment without getting a copy of the judgment from the court, verifying the status there, and doing due diligence on the judgment debtor.