What is a Judgment Enforcement Agency?

August 13, 2023


There are more than one web sites that describe themselves as being a national judgment enforcement agency.

There is nothing wrong with having a web site with a name resembling “Judgment Enforcement Agency”. However, it is important to understand that most web sites that say or imply this, are not actually national judgment enforcement agencies.

Both collection agencies and lawyers, can enforce judgments for you. Most post-judgment lawyers get paid by the hour. Judgment enforcers only get paid for success. However, judgment enforcers cannot enforce judgments for you until they become the legal owner of your Judgment.

Judgment enforcers must buy your judgment – and become the new owner. Judgment enforcers must be assigned (transfer ownership of) your judgment in its entirety. Such an assignment must be notarized and then endorsed and filed with the Court.

Some States are making judgment enforcement a part of debt collection law, and are requiring or attempting to require judgment enforcers to become collection agencies.

Even when a (non-lawyer) judgment enforcer has a team or office with more than one person, in most States and situations, only one person can sign Court documents, appear in Court, and be the legal enforcer of a judgment. In most States, a corporation, LLC, or partnership cannot represent itself in civil Courts.

In most States and situations, judgment enforcers must appear in Court as a person, not a company. Even sole judgment enforcers are not really alone. Most do a lot of outsourcing with marketing, private investigators, process servers, other judgment enforcers, and lawyers.

If one calls themselves a collection agency or a judgment enforcement agency, they must abide by all local and State laws regulating a collection agency in every location they work in.

Some States require everyone owning or working at the collection agency to meet strict State requirements, such as bonding and background checks, and have (and maintain) a certain amount of financial net worth.

Anyone meeting the local and State requirements can be a collecter or a judgment enforcement agency without being an attorney. Ironically, most states exempt attorneys from becoming a collection agency.

Even when an attorney runs a judgment enforcement agency, State laws sometimes control them. As an example, Florida requires an attorney to become a collection agency if the majority of the firm’s caseload involves collections. Interestingly, attorneys and law firms have been sued by state Attorney Generals for FDCPA violations, and infractions.

So, if a web site or a person tells you that they are a Judgment Enforcement Agency, ask them if they, and all their advertised agents meet all State and local laws. Be aware, if someone says they are representing an agency but are not legally doing so, in some States, the original judgment creditor may be liable for damages as well as the non-collection-agent enforcer.

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