Sometimes even the wealthiest people don’t pay their bills. A case in point is Kim Kardashian, who seems to be featured in at least a few news stories every week. With an estimated net worth of around $40 million, you might think that Kim would be able to pay her dental bills. Apparently, however, she is too cheap, stubborn or maybe just distracted to take the time for such trivial matters.
In 2001, a dentist named Craig Gordon put in porcelain fillings in Kim’s teeth, a bill which she never paid. The dentist took her to court and, in 2002, won a default judgment in the amount of $1605.73. Now, more than a decade later, Kim still hasn’t paid this sum, which would be the equivalent of buying lunch for the average person.
The story does not end here, though, and it points to an interesting new development in the legal system -the buying and selling of judgements. Dr. Gordon decided that he didn’t have time to chase Kim Kardashian, so he put the judgment up for sale on Judgment Marketplace. Anyone can register on this site and buy this judgment for $13,000. Its total value, due to accrued interest, is now $3,498.73. This may not seem like a winning investment, but Dr. Gordon believes it has value because of Kardashian’s celebrity status. He is basically selling it as a collector’s item or conversation piece rather than as a serious investment.
Most judgments that are available on Judgement Marketplace provide much better financial prospects for buyers of judgments. Many judgments, in fact, are worth ten or more times the “Buy Now” price listed on the site. Buyers can also make offers on judgments.
The Kim Kardashian story is interesting not because it involves a huge sum of money, but because it showcases how difficult it can be in our society to actually collect on judgments. This case of someone who was unable to collect a relatively trivial sum from a multimillionaire is just one example of a widespread problem. There are, of course, various ways to collect on such debts, such as collections agencies. This process, however, can take many years. In cases where the debtor cannot be found, does not have the money to pay the debt or refuses to pay, it can stretch out for decades.
The ability to sell judgments gives people such as Dr. Craig Gordon and many others the chance to put the matter to rest and at least collect a percentage of what is owed.