Start a Judgment Recovery Business
By Stephen Bucaro
Judgment Recovery is a niche in the debt collection business that specializes
in collecting court judgments. When someone wins in court, the court officers
don't rush over and grab the defendants wallet to pay the complainants award.
The court issues a judgment, an order to pay, against the defendant. Unfortunately,
instead of immediately paying the judgment, many defendants make themselves
scarce. This creates a business opportunity for you.
When someone fails to pay a judgment most judgment holders don't have the
time or skill to go after the debtor. However a judgment, just like any other debt,
can be legally assigned to another person. The original judgment holder can
assign title to the judgment to your Judgment Recovery Service, making you
the owner of the judgment, and allowing you to legally enforce the judgment.
This is the law in all 50 states and Canada.
To be a judgment recovery specialist doesn't require any special legal training or
experience, although you may find the occasional need to appear in front of
a judge to get papers signed allowing you to seize a judgment debtors assets.
The skill you need most is persistence in researching and locating information
about judgment debtors and their assets.
How to Find Judgments to Collect
The first step is to locate judgment holders. This is not difficult since
there are literally thousands of judgment holders in every community. Their
information is available on file at your local county courthouse. These case
files are public record. Many courthouses are now even making case file
information available online.
Once you identify a judgment that you feel would be profitable, send a personalized
letter to the judgment holder informing them that you will enforce their judgment at
no cost to them. You might design a letter template that you can send, marketing
your business. Many businesses, such as large apartment complexes are awarded
judgments on a regular basis. One of these could be a great source of ongoing business!
How to Collect a Judgment
The first step to collect a judgment is to find the judgment debtor's current address
and send them a letter identifying your company, informing them that you are collecting
the judgment and including a bill for them to pay. If you don't receive a response
after a short period of time, send them a second letter, informing them that if
they do not immediately make provisions to pay the debt, you will be required to
take action such as seize property and bank accounts and garnish their wages.
If the judgment debtor refuses to respond, you need to locate their assets.
There are many ways to locate the judgment debtors assets. Property titles,
employment records, bank accounts and other information is available in public
records and online databases. The most important information will be in the judgment
debtors consumer credit reports.