For many people who are awarded money judgments, the victory in court is only the beginning of their long road towards actually receiving this money. In some cases, the debtor simply pays. This is, naturally, the preferred scenario. However, in the majority of cases, it’s more complicated. Judgments often have to be enforced in a variety of ways before the creditor can collect.
Judgments involve a situation where someone has not paid a bill, a debt or has been negligent in some way. This can be anything from a renter not paying his rent to a business responsible for injuring someone. A very common type of judgment involves accidents, such as automobile accidents where damage to a vehicle and/or to people in the car has occurred. Unfortunately, in many cases the responsible party is either unable or unwilling to make good on the payment.
Why Enforcing Judgments Can Be Difficult
If you have won a judgment and are having trouble collecting, you have several options.
It’s possible to garnish the wages of a debtor, though usually no more than 25% (specific rules vary from state to state). Money can also be taken from the debtor’s bank account and liens can be placed on property. This, of course, assumes that the debtor can be found and that he or she has assets. It’s fairly common for people who owe substantial amounts of money to keep a low profile and move around frequently. Very often, when someone owes you money, they also owe money to others as well. This can create the problem of trying to get the proverbial blood from a stone.
If you are not familiar with the law, you also have to be careful about taking steps to collect judgments. Creditors are limited in the legal actions they can take. Calling people too frequently, for example, could be considered harassment, which could make it even harder to collect. Therefore, you should investigate your local laws before taking steps to collect on your own. You could hire an attorney, but unless it’s a very large judgment this could end up costing you more than the value of the judgment.
The Need For Alternatives
In difficult economic times, it can be harder than normal to collect on judgments. For people who are stuck with uncollected judgments, new alternatives are needed. That’s why many people are starting to use Judgment Marketplace to put their judgments up for auction. This gives them the chance to access a large population of buyers and collect money as quickly as possible.