Although the Judgment Collectors main office is in Salt Lake City, UT, we are active in 11 states. Missouri is one of them. Like every other state in the union, Missouri has some unique rules governing debt collection and judgments. If you or your business are in Missouri, how much do you know about those rules?
There are six interesting things about debt collection and judgments in Missouri:
1. Creditors File Collection Lawsuits
Missouri creditors must follow a strict set of rules governing how they can go about collecting unpaid debts. When all else fails and there are no options left, many turn to collection lawsuits. A collection lawsuit is a petition that the court legally recognizes the debt in question along with the debtor’s requirement to pay.
Filing a collection lawsuit doesn’t necessarily guarantee the creditor will get paid. First, the creditor needs to win the case. After winning comes the hardest part of all: actual collection.
2. Why Creditors Sue
Next up is the reason creditors go so far as to sue their debtors. Given that a lawsuit is essentially a court petition, the creditor is asking for legal recognition of the debt in question. Winning a judgment gives the creditor access to additional collection tools that might not have been available before.
For example, it is impossible for a creditor to garnish a debtor’s wages without a judgment. With a judgment, creditors can garnish. They can also petition the court for authority to seize and sell some of the debtor’s assets.
3. Business Entities Must Have Attorneys
Individuals can sue other individuals or businesses without the help of attorneys. But in Missouri, the same is not true of business entities. They are required by law to be represented by attorneys. Having said that, it is not clear why an individual would bother to sue without the assistance of an attorney.
4. Lawsuits Result in Summonses
When collection lawsuits are filed in Missouri, summonses are generated. The defendant in a case (a.k.a. the judgment debtor) must be served with a summons to appear in court. Judgment creditors in Missouri cannot serve debtors directly. They need to go through a private service or request service from the sheriff’s department.
A plaintiff receiving a summons always has a certain amount of time to respond. They must appear in court on the date listed on the summons, with or without an attorney. Once again, not having an attorney doesn’t seem wise.
5. Where Collection Lawsuits Are Filed
In Missouri, collection lawsuits are filed in one of two jurisdictions: the county in which the defendant or business entity is located or, when the dispute arises out of a contract, the county in which the contract was originally made legal.
6. What Happens after Judgments Are Entered
Finally, judgments entered in Missouri are similar to those in other states in the sense that they aren’t enforced by courts. Practically speaking, that means creditors are responsible for collection. They need to work with debtors to figure something out. That’s where we come in.
Judgment debtors do not always cooperate. Sometimes they intentionally try to make collection efforts as difficult as possible. By getting Judgment Collectors involved right away, the chances of securing payment go up. The longer the creditor waits, the harder it gets.
We work on behalf of individuals, business entities, and other organizations with outstanding judgments in Missouri. We are ready and willing to take a look at your case. If you would like to know more about how we pursue judgments, don’t hesitate to contact us.