We assume you are visiting our website because your organization either has unpaid judgments or is anticipating seeking judgments against debtors in the future. Checking out Judgment Collectors is a good first move. While you consider the next step, ask yourself this: how well does your organization know the law? If not well, we encourage you to turn judgment collection over to us.
Judgments are legal proceedings. They are governed by a number of laws at the federal and state level. By the way, collection is also governed by federal and state regulations. We are not allowed to do whatever comes to mind in an effort to collect. Neither are you.
The law can be a complicated matter. Follow it to the letter and you stand a better chance of collecting on unpaid judgments without getting into trouble yourself. But mess something up and what started out as a simple debt collection could become a much more serious matter.
The primary set of regulations governing debt collection at the federal level are encapsulated in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Enforcement of the act is shared by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Federal Trade Commission.
Under the FDCPA, debt collectors are required to do certain things. They are also allowed to do certain things and prohibited from doing others. The important thing to know is that the rules apply to both original creditors and the representatives they might hire to collect on their behalf. If your company decides to collect judgments in-house, you will be subject to the same set of rules we have to follow.
Believe it or not, federal regulations are often easier to make sense of than state regulations. Here at Judgment Collectors, we offer collection services in six states:
Just between the six states, regulations can vary quite a bit. California is one of the most strictly regulated while Idaho regulations are fairly relaxed by comparison. The point we are trying to make is that you have to know the law in your state before you begin judgment collection. In some states, regulations line up quite nicely with their federal counterparts. In other cases, state laws can be even more restrictive.
Because the law can be convoluted at times, we often find it best to look for the path of least resistance. For example, it is possible in most states to garnish both wages and bank accounts in order to settle an unpaid judgment. However, doing so can get messy. If we can encourage a debtor to agree to a voluntary payment plan, we do not have to get the local sheriff’s office or the debtor’s employer involved.
Likewise, most states allow the seizure and sale of certain assets to settle unpaid debts. And where seizure and sale are not the best course of action, placing liens on certain assets is another option. But still, there is a path that offers less resistance: working with a debtor to come up with a monthly payment plan. Some creditors are even willing to accept a partial payment just to put the matter behind them.
Regardless of how a debt is settled, collection is governed by federal and state laws that can often be difficult to understand. If your organization is not familiar with the law in relation to your debt collection efforts, you are much better off turning collection over to us.
Published March 15, 2022