Winning a judgment in civil court isn’t the end of the issue. In fact, winning creates issues of its own. One of the biggest is collection. It is not always as straightforward as judgment creditors would prefer. Collection is almost always complicated. The good news is that creditors can always hire collection agencies to handle the job.
Collection agencies can operate as general debt collectors or specialized collectors. It is far better to hire an agency that specializes in judgments due to the complex nature of this sort of debt. Salt Lake City-based Judgment Collectors is one such debt collection agency.
Judgment Collectors says that the vast majority of judgments in the U.S. are never collected. There are reasons for that, beginning with the fact that creditors try to handle things on their own. Here are five reasons explaining why this is a bad idea:
1. Legal Requirements Abound
Collecting a judgment is known in civil court as enforcement. The important thing to know is that enforcement isn’t simple. It is rife with legal requirements that must be followed to the letter. Just as an example, most states require creditors to wait at least thirty days after a judgment has been entered before beginning collection efforts. This gives debtor’s time to appeal.
Being unfamiliar with the legal requirements makes it too easy for a creditor to get into trouble. Once a creditor violates the law, collecting an unpaid judgment becomes all that much harder.
2. Debtor’s Don’t Always Cooperate
A creditor can thoroughly know and understand the law and still fail thanks to a debtor who does not cooperate. This actually isn’t unusual. Judgment collection agencies do what they do because debtors try to avoid payment at all costs. And nothing is more frustrating to a creditor than winning a judgment only to have the debtor refuse to pay.
3. Enforcement Is Time Consuming
Let us assume a creditor wins a straightforward judgment against a cooperative debtor. Even under what are seemingly perfect conditions, enforcement still takes time. Waiting periods still need to be honored. Court timelines still need to be adhered to. Creditors need to put the time into discovery. It is just not something that occurs overnight. Judgment collection agencies have the time to devote to the process. As for creditors, not so much.
4. Enforcement Requires a Financial Investment
Not only does enforcement take time, but it also requires a financial investment. Creditors must actually spend money to get what they are owed. How much they ultimately spend depends a lot on their ability to effectively track down and communicate with debtors.
When creditors turn their judgments over to collection agencies, their financial obligations cease. Some collection agencies purchase judgments outright and that’s that. Others, including Judgment Collectors, work on consignment. They cover all the financial expenses of handling enforcement and only get paid if they succeed.
5. Experience and Tools Are Required
Finally, experience and specialized tools are required to succeed when debtors go the extra mile to hide themselves and their assets. A good debt collection agency makes use of skip tracing, for example. How many creditors know anything about skip tracing?
Collection agencies know how to scour public records and mine social media for information. They know how to comb through court records, property records, etc. to uncover what debtors are trying to hide. Most creditors do not.
Judgment collection is not a game. It is serious in business that is best left to collection agencies that specialize in this sort of thing. If you have an outstanding judgment that you’re having trouble collecting, consider outsourcing it.