Believe us when we say that we know how frustrating it can be to attempt to collect a judgment from an uncooperative debtor. We see that sort of thing all the time. But we also know that giving up does not change anything. In fact, giving up means letting go of something you went to court to obtain. Why do that?
You went to the trouble of pursuing a civil judgment. You invested time and money in the legal process. If there is any chance of recovering what you spent and collecting the original debt at the same time, isn’t it worth continuing to pursue the case?
We understand that there are times when giving up and letting go is the best course of action. But there are also times when creditors should absolutely not give up. To prove the point, here are our top three reasons for not giving up on your outstanding judgment:
1. Financial Situations Change
While it may be true that the debtor does not have the financial means to pay right now, that could change in the future. Financial situations change all the time. People get new jobs. They receive inheritances. They pay off outstanding debts and suddenly have more cash to work with.
Remember that the average statute of limitations on civil judgments is 7 to 10 years. For the sake of argument, let us say it is 7 years in your state. A lot can happen during that time. If you tried to collect unsuccessfully for 2 years, you still have 5 years remaining. Things could shift in your favor within the next year or two.
2. Employment Circumstances Change
We have seen numerous cases in which a lack of tangible assets gave creditors no other choice but to rely on wage garnishment to collect. But wage garnishment could take years to fully satisfy a debt. It is not an ideal situation, but the positive side is that employment situations change. People get promoted. They get raises and bonuses. These are the types of things that could help in a wage garnishment situation.
Let us pick a number out of thin air. Let’s say you are able to garnish 25% of a debtor’s disposable income. Let us also say that the debtor gets a 10% raise at the start of the new year. His raise should equate to more disposable income with each paycheck. That means the amount you can garnish also goes up.
3. Hidden Assets Might Be Found
The third reason for not giving up is related to your efforts to uncover hidden assets. If you are not searching for hidden assets, that could be a contributing factor to your lack of collection success. If you are, who knows? You might uncover something down the road, something you can use as leverage to encourage the debtor to pay.
Searching for assets is par for the course et Judgment Collectors. It is something we do in nearly every case we take. Why? Because assets can be used as motivational tools. For example, consider one of our previous cases involving a debtor who owned an airplane hangar in a neighboring county.
We uncovered the hangar in our property search. Once the debtor knew that we were aware of this property, he was motivated to make good on his debt. This sort of thing is the very reason we suggest not giving up on an unpaid judgment. If you have a judgment you are struggling to collect, feel free to contact us. We might be able to help.