May 28, 2024

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The Legal System

Judgment Debtors: Pray Collection Agencies Don’t Get Involved

If I were facing a civil lawsuit that looked like a slam dunk for the opposition, I would immediately start planning for how I was going to pay any monetary award. Why? Because the last thing I would want to do is give the winning party a reason to call in a collection agency. I know what collection agencies can do when it comes to monetary judgments.

If you have had experience with collection agencies attempting to collect general debt, you may wonder about the point I am making here. But understand that general debts and monetary judgments are two separate animals. You are dealing with something completely different with a judgment. So are collection agencies.

A Court Order

A monetary judgment is not a standard debt, like a utility bill or car payment. A judgment is actually a court order. It is a decision rendered at the conclusion of civil litigation. That makes it more than just a debt. A judgment is an open door to collection tools that are not available through any other means.

For example, one of the most extreme examples of collecting a monetary judgment involves seizing a debtor’s property and selling it at auction. Proceeds from the auction go toward paying the debt. A collection agency could not do that on a standard debt. Seizing and selling property requires court authority. That authority can only be obtained after successfully winning a monetary judgment.

Assets Are in Play

The whole point of taking someone to court is to gain access to their assets. Assets often prove invaluable in collecting monetary judgments. However, there is a caveat: winning parties – also known as judgment creditors – need to know how to work the system to their advantage. Otherwise obtaining a monetary judgment could be an exercise and futility.

The advantage of turning to a collection agency is knowledge. A collection agency knows how to use the system. Agency team members know how to dig around for assets, find debtors purposely trying to hide, and more.

Judgment Collectors is a Utah collection agency based in Salt Lake City and operating in eleven states. One of the tools they utilize in the pursuit of monetary judgments is skip tracing. What is skip tracing? It is a collection of strategies, tools, and informational resources designed to find debtors and uncover their assets.

Incidentally, bounty hunters and private detectives rely on skip tracing as well. If you have ever seen those TV shows featuring bounty hunters tracking down bail jumpers, you know how good they are. Skip tracing works extremely well in the hands of a skilled user.

An Incentive to Get Paid

The other advantage collection agency has is motivation. On its own, a creditor might be willing to forget about a monetary award and move on. It is easier just to write it off as a cost of doing business. But collection agencies don’t have that luxury.

Some collection agencies purchase monetary judgments outright. The judgments become their property. If they do not collect, they lose the money they spent. On the other hand, other collection agencies work on consignment. They get paid a portion of what they collect. If they collect nothing, they get paid nothing.

Collection agencies specializing in monetary awards have access to collection tools unavailable for standard debt collection. Those tools, combined with agency knowledge and skill, make it very difficult to avoid paying once a collection agency is involved. That’s why I wouldn’t even take a chance. To all of you judgment debtors trying as hard as you can to avoid paying, pray that collection agencies don’t get involved.