Salt Lake City's Judgment Collectors

How often have you heard someone threaten to sue because of some perceived wrong? Perhaps you have made such threats yourself. Most of us have issued idle threats of a lawsuit, even if only in our own minds. We should all heed the advice of Salt Lake City’s Judgment Collectors: if you are unable to enforce it, you probably shouldn’t sue.

Judgment Collectors explains that enforcement of a money judgment involves collecting the money owed. Courts only get involved to the extent of issuing certain types of orders, like a writ of seizure. But courts do not send their own representatives out to enforce their orders. Enforcement is left to winning parties, also known as judgment creditors.

Collecting When All the Stars Align

Collecting a money judgment can be a piece of cake when all the stars align. The defendant comes to court pretty confident that he will lose. He also brings his checkbook with him. The plan is to cut a check and hand it to the plaintiff as soon as the hearing concludes.

Unfortunately, the stars rarely align. The best possible scenario most judgment creditors can hope for is being able to work out a voluntary payment plan with the debtor. If all goes well, the debtor sticks to that plan and pays his debt over time.

What happens if such a payment plan cannot be worked out? What happens if the two parties do come up with an agreeable plan but the debtor doesn’t stick to it? Collection suddenly becomes that much harder.

Access to Collection Tools

One of the things about civil litigation that appeals to creditors is the fact that a judgment affords access to certain collection tools that would otherwise be off limits. Property seizure and sale is the classic example. A creditor cannot seize a debtor’s property without a court order. But the court order can only be obtained by first winning a judgment.

Winning a judgment is essentially obtaining a court’s legal recognition of the debt in question. With legal recognition and the judgment officially entered into the court’s record, the creditor can now move forward with different types of enforcement efforts that go above and beyond simple payment plans.

A payment plan is still the preferred way to go because it is clean and easy. More aggressive enforcement efforts can get messy and complicated. But when a debtor fails to cooperate, more aggressive collection efforts must be undertaken.

Think Long and Hard

This is where the idea of not suing comes into play. Before filing a lawsuit in civil court, it pays to think long and hard about how you intend to collect. If you are unwilling to pay your attorney or a collection agency to do the work, you are going to have to do it yourself. Are you up to the task?

Do you have the time to put into judgment collection? It could take years. But if you cannot afford to put in that much time, perhaps filing a lawsuit isn’t your best bet. But that’s not all. Also consider your knowledge of collection tactics.

Organizations like Judgment Collectors know how to search for assets debtors are trying to hide. They know how to use tools like skip tracing. Collecting from an uncooperative debtor is more or less a game of cat and mouse.

You could go into a lawsuit fully prepared to pay a collection agency to enforce a judgment on your behalf. But if you don’t want to do that and you’re unable to enforce it on your own, you probably shouldn’t sue.

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