I am not a lawyer. If you need legal advice, contact a lawyer (See our National Lawyer State Bar List). Although not many courts or lawyers will admit it, smart people know that most judgments are never recovered. There are many reasons for this, some of which include: laws do not make it easy to enforce judgments, some debtors are frauds, and some debtors move to other states.
The most common reason that judgments are not enforced is that many debtors are broke. Also, debtors move and it becomes difficult and expensive to keep searching for their new address or place of employment.
The typical cycle of a judgment enforcement effort usually follows these steps:
1) The Original Judgment Creditor (OJC) wins a judgment in court.
2) The OJC expects the debtor to pay, but they don’t.
3) The OJC tries to enforce it themselves, but it is too frustrating and often not successful.
4) The OJC tries to sell their judgment for cash up front.
5) The OJC discovers that nobody will pay as much cash up front as they want to get for their judgment.
6) The OJC finds a Judgment Enforcer.
7) The Judgment Enforcer might be able to enforce the judgment against the debtor; if so, there is a happy ending.
If neither the OJC nor a Judgment Enforcer can get money from the debtor, the judgment returns to the OJC and becomes a seemingly unenforceable judgment.
This is where a Debt Settlement Professional (DSP) can help. The DSP becomes the mediator and usually has a better response in working with the debtor.
A DSP approaches the debtor and the creditor, and tries to get both of them to compromise, so the creditor can get paid something, and the debtor can be relieved of the judgment debt and improve their credit score.
This is a win-win, because if not for the work of the DSP, the OJC will most likely not get any money for their judgment. The debtor comes out ahead too, as not only do they pay less than the amount owed on the judgment, the DSP often can help the debtor settle their other debts at the same time.
The DSP cannot help in every case. Sometimes the debtor truly has nothing, or has gone bankrupt. Sometimes either the OJC or the judgment debtor is not willing to compromise enough to make a deal happen.
Not everyone can be a Debt Settlement Professional (DSP). In some states, only attorneys can settle debts. The DSP must be licensed in every state they work in. Some DSPs only work with commercial and business debt. Others work with consumer debt, and some work with both. Make sure any DSP you work with is licensed in your state.
You can find DSPs with a simple web search. Make sure your DSP can work with court judgments. One can find judgment-centered web sites that list, broker, and work with licensed Debt Settlement Professionals.