There are times when judgment enforcement is a source of anger. I
have made a list of a “judgment creditor’s” 10 biggest
sources of that anger. Some of the sources can be alleviated with
additional good information. Some can be avoided just by being aware
of their potential to be a frustration. There may be a few instances
where one of these sources of anger will manifest itself and you just
can’t help it happening to you.
However, I do want to stress that usually the proper
application of the right knowledge and wisdom will allow you to
avoid having a potential frustration become reality. As you read
these ten sources, you should realize that they exist. Be aware
of them and give them the right amount of attention. Education and
research will help in most cases.
Here is my list:
Not getting paid at all - This has to be number
one. Winning a law suit and having a money judgment that says your
legal adversary owes you an amount of money should lead to a pay
day. Not ever getting paid by your judgment debtor is absolutely
unjust and can almost make a preacher cuss.
Not getting paid right away - The old saying is “better late
than never.” That may be true, but I don’t want to wait
for the satisfaction of collecting my judgment. It will make you
want to pull your hair out. The jerk who owes the money judgment
is cheating the judicial system and me when he makes me wait weeks,
months, or years before he pays the judgment debt.
The Judgment Debtor declares bankruptcy - This is one source of
frustration that really chaps my hide. There is very little you
can do after a debtor declares bankruptcy. Legally you have to immediately
stop all collection activity as soon as you have knowledge of the
bankruptcy filing. Though there are a few rare cases when judgment
collection can be pursued after BK, usually it ends badly for the
judgment creditor. It is a major source of irate emotions.
Can’t locate the debtor - This is almost always a source of
irritation that can be solved. Learning more about how to find the
bum can usually lead to a happy result. Very few people are able
to hide if you really want to find out where they are located. Deadbeats
may run, but they really can’t hide, not for long, not usually.
Researching the science of skip tracing is fascinating. Implementing
a little skip tracing magic will likely replace the frown on your
face with a smile.
Can’t locate the debtor’s assets - Not knowing what
property the debtor owns that can be used to satisfy the money judgment
might frustrate you. You may feel thwarted in your attempts to collect.
Learning how to locate assets and how to seize them is knowledge
that will pay great dividends to a judgment creditor. It is not
always as difficult to locate debtor property as you may think.
The Judgment Debtor filed a claim of exemption to my property execution
- Most often, if you do a thorough search of a debtor’s assets,
you will find non-exempt assets or income sources that can be garnished,
levied, or executed on. If you cast a large enough net when you
seek to seize the assets the debtor will not be able to claim exemptions
on everything. This source of anger for you the judgment creditor,
can be a source of anger for the debtor instead.
The judgment expired - There is rarely an instance where this trap
should catch you unawares. Always make it a point to discover how
long your judgment will last. In many states the life of a judgment
can be extended if you are actively engaged in collecting it.
Your lawyer is supposed to collect the judgment and he doesn’t
seem to be doing much if anything - This is an extremely common
irritant. Attorneys who litigate for you, rarely prove to be motivated
to enforce the judgments that they win for you. Making sure that
your attorney is trying to get the judgment collected may be hard.
If you can’t get satisfaction, then request that he remove
himself from representing you in this post-judgment collection.
Then do the judgment enforcing yourself, or go some other route.
You assigned your judgment to a judgment enforcer and nothing is
happening - This situation can be particularly enraging. Once you
as the original judgment creditor assign ownership of your judgment
to another person, you have no legal right to the judgment anymore.
If your payment and satisfaction are dependent on a future pay arrangement
with a judgment enforcer, you might ask if he will reassign the
judgment back to you. The judgment enforcer might not feel legally
obligated to reassign the judgment, but he might do it anyway. Just
Immediately after winning your lawsuit, your legal adversary files
an appeal - I hate this one. It usually is a pain in the butt because
it requires me to respond in court all over again. The truth is,
however, most civil judgments are not turned over on appeal. Just
make sure you answer the appeal and proceed intelligently.
This is my list. Other judgment creditors might have a different
set of things that upset them when trying to collect their judgments.
The fact is, if you keep a good attitude about your judgment collection
you won’t feel like pulling your hair out. A positive attitude
as you pursue an informed plan of attack will give you a good chance
of getting your money. Good luck as you pursue justice for yourself!