General debt collection and judgment collection are two separate things. However, one can morph into the other. It happens so often that people are confused over whether debt collectors can file judgments. If you have ever wondered yourself, step back and take a breath. Obtaining a judgment requires going to court whether you’ve hired a collection agency or not.
Obviously, any hopes of preventing a debt from reaching judgment stage hinges on the debtor paying what is owed. It’s best if the debtor works with you to make payment. Unfortunately, debtors have a habit of ignoring their debts. You may have to begin collection efforts that ultimately end up in seeking a civil judgment.
We work as judgment collectors in six states including Utah, Idaho, and Arizona. We don’t deal in general debt collection. We specialize only in judgments. As such, we can tell you a thing or two about how the system works. As you read the rest of this post, bear in mind that states have different rules regarding judgments and collection.
A Court Proceeding
The first thing you should know is that a judgment is a court proceeding. As such, creditors and debt collectors cannot arbitrarily file judgments against debtors. The best either one can do is take the debtor to court. As the creditor, you would file a civil lawsuit and then let the court sort things out.
Note that you could go right to civil litigation even if you never hired a collection agency. Any person or organization that owes you money can be sued. The question you have to ask yourself is what you will do if you ultimately win the case. How will you collect?
If you were to sue, the debtor would be served with the appropriate summons to appear in court. They would have so many days to answer that summons. Prior to the court date, you would hopefully have an opportunity to settle with the debtor and avoid litigation altogether. Otherwise, a judge will determine the outcome.
When a Judgment Is Entered
Civil cases that end in judgment are quite common. When a judgment is entered against a debtor, that means the court recognizes the existence of a legal debt and the obligation of the debtor to pay it. A judgment also gives the creditor access to a number of tools for collecting payment.
Here is where organizations like Judgment Collectors come in. Sometimes creditors attempt to collect on judgments by themselves. Other times they turn to companies like ours. Why hire a judgment collection agency? Because we know how to get results.
We have certain tools at our disposal. For example, we can utilize skip tracing strategies to find debtors who try to make themselves scarce rather than paying up. We also have the ability to track down all sorts of assets. If necessary, we can place liens on assets, garnish wages and bank accounts, and take other necessary steps.
Whatever It Takes
We prefer to use as little pressure as necessary to encourage debtors to pay. We do not like having to go after debtor assets. But we do whatever is necessary, within the letter of the law, to ensure our clients get paid. Our willingness to go the extra mile is what sets us apart as a judgment collection agency.
If you are having trouble collecting from a debtor, you can’t file a judgment yourself. You must take the debtor to civil court and petition the court for a judgment. Win the case and we can take it from there.