Demystifying Judgment Collection By Hiring a Professional

Civil litigation is not nearly as easy in reality as it looks on TV. Something as seemingly simple as collecting a monetary award can become a complicated nightmare of legal wrangling and one upmanship. It can be truly mystifying if you don’t know how to navigate the system. But there is hope when you hire a professional.

Court Involvement Is Limited

For the record, a court’s involvement after a judgment is rendered is limited. Most of what goes into collection is the responsibility of the winning party, otherwise known as the judgment creditor. Yet there are still laws and rules to consider. There are documents to file and time constraints to adhere to. There is so much involved that an inexperienced judgment creditor can be easily overwhelmed.

That takes us back to the idea of hiring a professional. There are three types of professionals who are typically brought into help with judgment collection:

  1. Attorneys.
  2. General collection agencies.
  3. Specialized collection agencies.

Judgment Collectors, a specialized collection agency based in Salt Lake City, UT, explains the difference between what they do and what a general collection agency does. Judgment Collectors and similar agencies are collection agencies in every respect. However, they focus exclusively on judgments.

On the other hand, a general collection agency handles a much broader range of debts. General agencies collect medical debts, unpaid utility bills, past due rents, and more. Most do not take on judgments because they lack the expertise necessary to do the job right.

Taking Advantage of Available Tools

Judgments are unique kinds of debts because they originate as court orders. Technically, a judgment isn’t a debt at all. It is a court order that establishes a debt – or some other type of legal obligation as a particular case requires. Due to their unique nature, monetary judgments sometimes need to be collected using tools that are only available after a court decision is rendered.

Take the writ of seizure. It is an extreme example of one of the tools available to judgment creditors. A writ of seizure is a court order permitting the seizure and sale of non-exempt property to satisfy an outstanding judgment. The writ of seizure is not available for general collection efforts.

Understanding Debtor Behavior

Another mystifying aspect of judgment collection relates to how debtors behave. Common sense seems to dictate that a debtor would stop fighting and figure out a way to pay once a court rules against him. But it doesn’t always work that way. In many cases, a judgment only hardens a debtor’s resolve to avoid payment.

The toughest debtors are willing to do whatever it takes to skip out on their legal obligations. When asked to supply employment and residence information, they either provide inaccurate information or nothing at all. When asked about assets, they lie.

Some debtors go so far as to transfer assets to other people to protect them against collection efforts. Some move to other states under the false assumption that an attorney or collection agency cannot follow them.

There is a Lot to Know

What this post has described barely scratches the surface of judgment collection. It is mystifying to so many because there is a lot to know. Unless you have spent a lot of time working in civil litigation or debt collection, it would be unreasonable for anyone to expect you to have a full grasp of what goes into collecting judgements.

If you are mystified by judgment collection and you need help, hire a professional. Let an attorney or collection agency demystify the process and help you get paid at the same time.

Posted in Law