Do you wonder how to pressure to your judgment debtor in order to
obtain a judgment settlement agreement?
Post Judgment settlement takes 2 parties agreeing
in order for it to take place. If you conclude that you prefer to
settle with your debtor rather than pursuing a protracted enforcement
of your judgment, here are a few opinions of mine on the subject.
First and foremost, always remember that a judgment debtor must
be willing and able to settle before settling can be a viable option.
You want the debtor to decide to settle the money judgment, and
on terms that bring you satisfaction. Just as importantly you want
your adversary to be able to fulfill his responsibilities in the
Assuming that you are convinced that the debtor
has the ability to keep his obligation in a judgment settlement
arrangement, then it behooves you to help him realise that it is
to his advantage to settle with you. You want him to prefer a post
judgment settlement rather than the alternative of judgment enforcement.
You will be far better off if you help him see two particular things
with perfect clarity. You need for the judgment debtor to believe
unequivocally that you CAN make things hard on him if he won’t
settle or pay the judgment debt. Just as important, you need for
him to believe that you you WILL absolutely do so.
You need to help him see that you are very willing
and more than able to employ enforcement tactics that will be more
painful on him than a settlement. Then you hope that he understands
that a settlement agreement is viable in his situation.
From the beginning you must let every word and action
that your adversary witnesses from you, enforce the idea in his
mind that you mean business. You can’t afford to let there
be any doubt in his mind at all about your resolve to collect every
last cent that he owes you on your judgment. Never give him any
reason to question the fact that you will steadfastly make him pay.
If you enter into any negotiations with him, you
need for him to view you as being a party who is negotiating from
a position of absolute strength. You don’t have to sound mean.
Just sound like a person who is seriously determined and who means
what he says.
Make sure your words and actions paint a picture
of the pains and stresses that will be unleashed upon him by your
lawful employment of every judgment enforcement tool that exists.
If you initiate your collection activity by mailing
an initial collection letter to your debtor, it is a good idea to
offer some sort of settlement right at the beginning. If your judgment
is aged enough for some interest to have accumulated, then you may
want to offer some discount on all or a portion of the interest
in exchange for immediate payment. Anytime you make any settlement
offer, it is best to put a time limit on the offer. Ten days or
thirty days or something along these lines will give the debtor
a clear picture that responding to any settlement offer will require
immediate action on his part. If he snoozes, he loses. It would
usually be best if subsequent offers are somewhat less advantageous
to the debtor than any previous offer. This way he sees once again
that the longer he procrastinates, the more difficult it will be
for him to get as good of a deal, so to speak.
If you ever get the judgment debtor to start making
settlement offers or counter offers, you are starting to get somewhere.
Once he makes it clear that he wants to enter into some sort of
agreement, it is time to strike while the iron is hot. Always, always,
always respond to any offer that is initiated by the debtor with
a counter offer that is better for you than the offer he has made.
If he offers to pay you $80 a month for 24 months, you might come
back with an offer of $120 for 20 months. If he asks for you to
suspend all interest, you might agree to discount the interest only
after he has fulfilled all of the terms of the agreement in a timely
fashion. You get the idea? You can assume that any offer he makes
is one that he already knows he can live with. What you might not
know is whether his offer is the best he can do. Probe your judgment
debtor to find out if he can and will agree to a settlement arrangement
that is better for you. Without a doubt you want to end up receiving
as much money as you can, as soon as you can.
Whenever you reach a judgment settlement with him,
be sure that every detail is ironed out, and you have all of it
in writing. Approach the entire post judgment settlement in a most
businesslike fashion. Be especially diligent when it comes to committing
the settlement agreement to a written document. By all means make
it crystal clear what will happen if the other party fails to adhere
to the explicit terms of your agreement.