Shopping Your Judgment

August 13, 2023

In my job, on the phone (we no longer publish our phone number due to too many rude people unwilling to read our web site’s first page, and it tied us up from helping smart creditors, so we now do business by email or mail only now) or through email, I often get the same question: “How much will you pay me for my judgment?” That question is just as valid as “How much will you pay me for my car?” (without seeing the car or knowing any details about its condition). For both questions, the answer is the same; everything depends on the details. A judgment’s estimated value depends on what state the judgment is in, and what is known about the judgment debtor and their available assets; and very little else.

There are four to consider when trying to estimate the cash upfront value of a judgment, or the chances for a successful future contingency recovery. The four important components are the judgment itself, identifying the judgment debtor, what the debtor owns, and what they earn.

Unless your judgment debtor has an unusual and/or unique name, just sending a copy of your judgment alone, is not usually enough. The address that your judgment debtor was first served notice of the lawsuit at, and their approximate age, are important; and so is any other relevant information, such as your judgment debtor’s current or previous address, or a partial social security number and/or date of birth.

This article is my opinion, and not legal advice. I am a judgment solution expert, and am not a lawyer. If you ever need any legal advice or a strategy to use, please contact a lawyer. When judgment owners contact judgment enforcers, judgment buyers, and judgment brokers; many make two common mistakes:

1) Over-shopping. What happens with your judgment depends mostly on the situation with your judgment debtor, and much less on whom you talk with, or send your judgment to. It is common sense that you would want to get price quotes from several places, to make sure you are getting the best deal. However, most judgments are average, and how much money you might get, does not depend on who you talk with. One should not fall into the trap of wasting months or years, searching for what cannot be found.

2) Discussing or sending, too much information or non-relevant trivia. There is no need to dwell on discussing your situation and needs, because judgment purchases or recovery results have nothing to do with your circumstances. Do not spend much time telling people what a SOB your judgment debtor is, because that will not help you get money from your judgment. What counts is, what is known about your judgment debtor and hints about what assets they may have now.

A copy of your judgment is always needed. If your judgment was by default, make sure to get a copy of the proof of service, as that is often needed. If you used an attorney to win and/or attempt to recover your judgment; before you contact someone to attempt to buy or recover your judgment, have your attorney take themselves off your case.

If you contact several people about your judgment, do not share too much private information about your judgment debtor, until you find the right expert to help you attempt to sell or recover your judgment. Then, you should share whatever private information you know, about your judgment debtor and their assets, as that information might get you paid faster. The advantage of using a judgment broker is you send the information once, the broker shares the info only with 1-2 experts, then the broker deletes all private information.

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