Did you know that judgments come with statutes of limitations? Here in Utah, the statute of limitations is eight years from the date a judgment is entered. Most states have statutes of limitations of between seven and 10 years.
Let’s err on the high side and say your state has a 10-year statute of limitations. That means you have 10 years to either collect or have the judgment renewed for another 10 years. From our point of view, renewing is a strategy of last resort. We want our clients to get paid as quickly as possible. A decade is too long to wait.
We have had the opportunity to work with plenty of clients who went to civil court without fully understanding that a judgment in their favor would not mean court involvement in collections. They did not know that enforcement was their responsibility.
It is not uncommon for creditors to not fully understand the legal process before going to court. And when that’s the case, it is also not unusual for some to push their cases right to the 10-year mark without ever seeing a dime. It’s the unfortunate reality of judgment collection.
We get the fact that judgment creditors look at a 10-year statute of limitations and mistakenly believe that they have plenty of time to collect. Trust us when we say that the deadline creeps up on you if you are not paying attention.
Statutes of limitations are theoretically designed to prevent debtors from being harassed endlessly. Unfortunately, that same statute of limitations ends up being a benefit to the debtor who knows how to play the waiting game. Experienced debtors with a history of skipping out are very adept at gaming the system to their advantage.
They will often employ a variety of legal strategies that encourage creditors to get bogged down. A case in point is the discovery process. In many states, creditors and their attorneys are not allowed to ask for asset information until 30 days after a judgment is entered. This is to give the debtor time to appeal. An experienced debtor will stretch those 30 days to its limit before even thinking about responding to information requests.
Another common tactic is to appeal the judgment. Even if the debtor knows they will lose on appeal, there is still a time factor. Every bit of legal maneuvering takes time to work through. An additional 30 days here and another 30 there can add up pretty quickly. Before the creditor knows it, they are staring at the statutes of limitations.
Because we specialize only in judgment collection, we are very good at what we do. We also know how judgment debtors work. Turn your case over to us and we will get right on it. We cannot promise overnight payment, but we can promise that your debtor will not get away with attempting to stall us indefinitely.
What creditors do not know is that we know how to play the game better. We know how to use every tool at our disposal to collect. And make no mistake, we have every intention of using those tools on every case we take.
Our main goal is to make sure you get paid. We don’t get paid otherwise. It is in our mutual best interests to not allow your case to reach the statutes of limitations. You shouldn’t have to wait that long for your money anyway. You are legally entitled to it right now. Do be aware though that while we do want you to come to us as early as possible, there are unavoidable occasions when we do have to renew judgments, and so it will take a bit of time.
Published December 27, 2022