While there are exceptions, most people make good money enforcing judgments – only by studying, working, and learning for years. (Ignore any web sites telling you this is a way to get rich quick or easily.)
The Judgment recovery business is an opportunity for hard working individuals to earn a good living enforcing or finding court money judgments. Like any business, success depends mostly on you, but partly on the economy, your location, and the ever-changing laws.
There are two ways to make money on judgments, the first way is to find (preferably enforceable) judgments leads. There are many ways to find and get judgment leads, see my other articles about judgment leads.
The second way to make money is the next step, which is to follow up on leads and successfully enforce the judgments you find. That is what this article is about.
The first part of getting and staying in this business is to get and keep getting education and training. There are many ways to find and get training, see my other articles about judgment training courses.
The second part it to have realistic exceptions, it takes a long time (especially in this economy) to make money enforcing judgments. Plan to start with lots of savings, or another job while you are learning and starting your judgment recovery business. Over time, you will get out of this business what you put into it.
The details and specific methods available to enforce judgments depend on the State and County the debtor’s assets are in. The basic method is always the same, you start by buying (take assignment) of the judgment from the Original Judgment Creditor (OJC).
You can buy judgments outright, or buy them on the (far more common) future payment basis, where you pay (an average of 50% of what you recover) to the OJCs after you recover money from the judgment debtor.
Then you find the assets of the debtor, and then either persuade them, annoy them, or shock and awe them, to get or take their assets. After enough assets are received or taken to satisfy the judgment, you file a Satisfaction of Judgment with the court. Then (if you did not buy the judgment outright) you pay (e.g. 50%) to the OJC.
If you are not a lawyer or a collection agency, the only way you can enforce someone else’s judgment is if you legally full take ownership (assignment) of the judgment, by having the original judgment creditor assign (having their signature notarized) the judgment to you, the Judgment Enforcer. This means you own it and in court or in any other legal context concerning the judgment, you can step “into the shoes” of the OJC.
One mistake nearly all judgment enforcers make is to take almost every judgment that comes their way. Over time all judgment enforcers learn to screen judgments carefully, and not take any where the judgment debtor has no assets, or the debtor is too far away. Experienced judgment enforcers refer enforceable judgments to other enforcers or judgment companies.
Once you have a judgment debtor with assets, and the right to seize those assets, you can start to do the things that can lead to assets. It is your job to find and take those assets. Some of the things you can do is look at the debtor’s credit reports, conduct investigations, bringing the debtor and people that owe your debtor money, back into court for extensive and repeated examinations, having the Sheriff seize property, putting liens on homes, garnishing wages, etc.
Compared to other businesses, judgment recovery is not an expensive business to start or keep running. You need a computer, a web site, email, a good judgment recovery course, a separate phone line. It can be from your home but you need a separate, secure work space to qualify for the database providers, with a locking file cabinet and a shredder. You need a fax machine or an internet fax solution.
The judgment recovery business is easy to start, and if you study, work, and repeat, you can make money. There are many training courses and resources on the web, some are free or very cheap.
Whatever you do, be sure to have a plan to exit the business. Never keep a judgment unless you plan to enforce it or return it one day.