Nothing pleases us more than being able to go to a client with full payment on an outstanding judgment. It is something we appreciate doing in each of the 11 states in which we do business, including Missouri. States recognize a judgment as satisfied when it is paid or otherwise settled to the satisfaction of both parties.
Satisfaction Via Financial Payment
What happens in Missouri when a judgment is paid? There are three things that come into play, all of which are part of Rule 74 of Missouri’s Rules Of Civil Procedure:
1. Acknowledgment by the Creditor
State law compels judgment creditors to immediately file an acknowledgment of satisfaction with the court. This is a legal document stating that satisfaction has been achieved, in whatever form, further stipulating that the creditor no longer has an active claim against the debtor.
For all intents and purposes, this is pretty much a matter of procedure. The creditor or its representative files a single document and it’s done. Acknowledging judgment satisfaction doesn’t require another court hearing or any further negotiations between attorneys.
2. Who Files the Acknowledgment
Although an acknowledgment of satisfaction brings the judgment creditor into play, the creditor doesn’t actually have to file the form. It can be filed by an attorney or agent of record acting on behalf of the creditor. If a creditor chooses to use an agent who is not also an attorney, that agent’s authority must be established legally.
Note that in instances in which a collection agency purchases a judgment outright, that collection agency becomes the creditor. The company can file or leave filing to its attorney or agent. Also note that Judgment Collectors does not buy judgments. We work on consignment. If you would like to know more about how it works, feel free to contact us.
3. When the Acknowledgment Is Not Filed
In the event a judgment is satisfied but no acknowledgment of the satisfaction is filed with the court, the judgment debtor is still not left out in the cold. They can petition the court where the judgment was originally entered for legal satisfaction.
For instance, imagine a judgment being paid in St. Louis. The debtor would have a reasonable expectation of an acknowledgement of the satisfaction being filed by the creditor in short order. If that does not happen, the debtor could go to the same court for help. After reviewing the case and the debtor’s proof of satisfaction, the court could enter a legal satisfaction order even without the creditor’s agreement.
Getting Paid Is the Harder Part
Filing an acknowledgment of satisfaction in Missouri is pretty easy. The harder part is actually getting paid. And of course, that needs to happen before satisfaction can be acknowledged. This is where most judgment creditors run into the biggest problems.
Judgments often go unpaid because creditors either do not know how the collection process works or simply don’t have the time or resources to put into it. That is where agencies like Judgment Collectors come in. We take on the responsibility of collecting so that our clients can concentrate on more important things.
Does your company have outstanding judgments the accounting department is struggling to collect? If so, contact us. We work with organizations of all types and sizes in Missouri.
Should we take on your case, we would love nothing more than to present you with full payment so that you can go ahead and file the acknowledgment of satisfaction. The acknowledgment not only demonstrates you have been paid, but it also demonstrates that we have done our job.