A common question in our industry is this: how long does it usually take to collect a judgment? Unfortunately, there is no static answer. Judgment collection is a complex and unpredictable enterprise. There is no way to know for sure how long collection will take until we actually have payment in hand.
Perhaps a better question is how long creditors have to collect. That’s definitive; it’s a known quantity. In most states, judgments are valid for 7 to 10 years. You would have to check your state regulations to know for sure. However, there is a defined statute of limitations in every state.
Many Factors in Play
Clients often come to us for help after being frustrated for many years. They have tried every avenue they can think of to get a debtor to pay, but to no avail. It is understandable that they want to know how long we expect collection to take. We must disappoint them by saying we don’t know.
What we can say is that we get right on new cases immediately. We can also say that there are lots of external factors we need to consider. Right off the bat is the debtor. What are we dealing with as a judgment collection agency? Does the debtor have experience avoiding creditors?
We also need to consider:
- where the debtor lives and works
- the kinds of assets the debtor owns
- all the jurisdictions in which the judgment was filed.
A debtor who has no experience avoiding payment might be easier to collect from. However, there are no guarantees. Debtors and their attorneys know every strategy in the book for keeping creditors at bay.
We Have a Book, Too
The fact that we cannot say how long collection will take shouldn’t dissuade you from letting us take on your collection. Rest assured that we have a book, too. Our book has just as many strategies – if not more – for finding debtors, locating their assets, and encouraging them to pay up.
We would also say this: if you have a judgment you want to get resolved as quickly as possible, do not try to collect it yourself. It’s not worth your time or effort. Turn it over to a collection agency with proven experience in judgments. Judgment Collectors is one such agency.
What Happens When Time Runs Out
If you have been trying to collect to no avail, and time is running out, don’t panic. Nearly every state allows judgment renewal prior to current expiration. Here in Utah, renewing judgments is very possible. Any time prior to your judgment’s current expiration, we can file to renew it for another seven years.
Some cases are so easy that we are able to collect in a matter of months. But there are those debtors who manage to string things along for years at a time. We have an advantage in that we know how to wait. And while we are waiting, we have an extensive list of proprietary and publicly available resources at our disposal.
No matter how long it takes, we stick with it. Any debtor who hopes to play the waiting game with us has no idea who they are matched up against. We aren’t intimidated. We aren’t impressed. We simply go to work and keep on working until we succeed.
How long does it take to collect a judgment? We wish we had a simple answer. We don’t. But we promise that we will get to work on your case right away. We will leave no stone unturned to ensure you get paid.