Possible Judgment Scenarios

August 12, 2023


What happens after you get a judgment? Usually, nothing happens for many reasons, starting with the economy. While most judgments are never recovered, there are some good things that can happen after you get a judgment:

1) The judgment debtor might pay you off in full, or nearly in full, soon after you win your judgment. Or, they might pay you in full after some time passes; especially after they are shown, with legal court actions, that serious attempts are being made to recover your judgment.

2) The judgment gets settled for an amount between 1% and 99%, most often ranging from 10% to 60% of what is owed. Settling can happen quickly, or after many years. Settlement offers that originate from judgment debtors, do not always result in a judgment creditor getting paid.

3) Your judgment debtor has some available assets, and you or someone else quickly recovers some money on your judgment. Quickly often means within a year or so.

4) Your judgment debtor or their estate, eventually gets some available assets, and you or someone else eventually recovers some money on your judgment. Eventually might mean liens are carefully recorded and maintained, and there is equity in something the debtor inherits in the possibly distant future, or the debtor has good luck in the future.

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. Often, nothing (that results in any money for you) happens after you get your judgment, for reasons such as:

1) Your judgment debtor is, or becomes broke or poor, or has no discoverable available assets, which makes judgment recovery difficult at best. Often, money spent on poor debtors is lost, or produces only minor results.

2) Your judgment debtor goes bankrupt, loses their available assets, dies, or hides and/or moves. At worst, these make judgment recovery impossible. At best, they increase the cost and hassle to recover a judgment.

3) Your judgment debtor tried to vacate or appeal the judgment when enforcement actions start.

4) You let your judgment expire. This can be intentional, when you believe there is no point in renewing your judgment; or accidentally, if someone forgets or cannot renew the judgment before it expires.

5) You do nothing with your judgment, or do not try to enforce it, or are unwilling to have someone else attempt to buy or enforce it, in exchange for a big share of what might get recovered. Judgments do not enforce themselves. Usually, somebody has to spend money and time to recover anything on a judgment. Most people are lucky to recover any money from their judgment.

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