I am not a lawyer – I am a judgment broker. With that out of the way, a judgment is a legal document that needs proper “care and feeding”. If the debtor named goes bankrupt, or the time limits have expired (e.g., ten years in California, five years in Wyoming), or there is a successful court action to cancel it, the judgment can become worthless. Also, if all laws are not followed during the enforcement of your judgment, you may end up getting fined and owing the debtor money.
Anyone that enforces a judgment must take care of it. This article is for judgment owners considering who should enforce their judgment. Here are the five choices, with the pros and cons of each:
1) You can enforce your judgment yourself. The pro parts are that you are in full control of everything, and that this is usually the cheapest way to enforce a judgment. The con parts are that judgment enforcement requires a lot of time and money. Be polite, use common sense, and have patience. Each State has its own laws on what you can and cannot do to enforce a judgment.
2) Hire a lawyer on contingency – the pro parts are that it may not cost much to get your judgment enforced. The con parts are that very few judgments are accepted on contingency by lawyers. Also, the lawyer may give up if the judgment is not easy to enforce, wasting a lot of time. Also, somtimes lawyers who take a case on a contingency expect the judgment creditor to pay all court costs up-front before taking your case. Court-related costs can become expensive.
3) Hire a lawyer by the hour – the pro parts are that when your judgment is large and you already know where the debtor’s assets are, you can save a lot of money. The con parts are that usually things are not so easy, and often you end up spending a lot of money with no recovery on your judgment.
4) Use an average collection agency – the pro parts are that collection agencies can sometimes persuade certain debtors to pay, by writing letters to them, calling them, and putting the judgment on their credit report. The con parts are that collection agencies do not take every judgment they see, require you to establish an account with them, and can’t take money or property from a debtor.
5) Use a Judgment Enforcer – the pro parts are that they are more likely to take your judgment, and more likely to recover money from the debtor. They look for and grab assets. The con parts are that they must take ownership of your judgment, you cannot control how they work, and most of the good ones charge an average of 50% of what they recover from the judgment debtor.
6) Use a judgment broker for free – they know the absolute best collection agencies, collection lawyers, and judgment enforcers – all pure contingency, that never charge you a dime. Only a judgment broker has the best solution for every valid judgment.