I am not a lawyer, I am a judgment referral expert (Judgment Broker). Nothing in any of my articles can be considered legal advice.
In my line of work, I get a huge number of judgment leads every week. It is my job to politely contact judgment owners once. I have found, that when creditors are “too big”, they almost always already have their own “in house” (lawyers, collection departments, or collection agencies).
I bring the creditor’s attention to a particular enforceable judgment they own that has not been collected. I tell them that for free, I can quickly refer them to an expert contingency lawyer to recover the judgment. Usually, their response is that they handle all judgment recovery “in house”.
It does not seem to matter to the large creditor entities, that their “in house” solution has never done anything to try to recover some of their enforceable judgment(s).
This is not only happening to me, I have confirmed this problem with hundreds of contingency collection lawyers and other judgment recovery professionals. In my opinion, such creditors are not facing reality, and they are potentially leaving money on the table, not a good idea in today’s economic reality.
Recovering judgments has never been easy. For many decades, most entities and companies have had their own in-house collection departments. Historically the reasons for this included:
1) Hiring an in-house team made sense because the in-house team could stay connected to their current customer base. Using outside collectors (if they did something stupid, embarrassing, or illegal) might damage relationships with their current (although late paying) customers.
2) Even if the entity does not have to worry about losing their customers, many companies, especially big companies, banks, and government entities, worry that using outside collectors, because if they did something stupid, embarrassing, or illegal; it might damage their reputation, or could make them liable in some way.
3) When the economy was good, judgment enforcement was more predictable, and an in-house team could recover judgments cheaper than by outsourcing them to collectors.
4) Entities preferred to have their own controllable employees, rather than using various outside recovery experts.
Times are different now. Companies are shedding employees, laws are changing to better protect debtors, and it is harder to recover judgments than any time in recent decades.
It is prudent to look at one’s in-house solution, and keep the “in house” team focused on the judgments they are making progress on. Gone are the days where the “in house” team had the staff to recover every judgment.
In my opinion, the current reality is:
1) Most of the time, when an entity has a judgment against a former customer, that customer is now probably gone. Getting some recovery of some judgment money should be the entity’s primary goal.
2) Contingency collection attorneys and judgment recovery professionals have improved and have kept up on changing laws. Local (to the judgment debtor) experts know the laws better than far-away “in-house” teams could. The experts that recover judgments for a living have improved, so most potential risks are minimized. There is no longer a stigma when a judgment is collected using ethical and legal methods.
3) Judgment recovery is more difficult than ever, and judgment debtors are moving to avoid creditors, making more judgments “unworkable” by conventional “in-house” teams.
4) Entities and companies are now trying to outsource whenever they can.
5) The web helps to find recovery experts. A judgment broker makes it very easy to find the best expert to recover the most money on each individual judgment.
I think it is now time for large creditors to face reality, and get outside help when their “in-house” team cannot recover a judgment.