Squeezing That Last Dollar

Published: 25th June 2015
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When most folks first win a judgment, they initially want to collect every penny legally owed to them. In real life, most judgments do not get recovered. The ones which are, usually do not get recovered 100%.

My articles are my opinions and are not, a legal opinion. I am a judgment expert, and not a lawyer. When you need a strategy to use or legal advice, you should contact a lawyer.

In cases where debtors own available assets; creditors may have opportunities to write checks to courts and Sheriffs, and maybe also process servers; to try to levy their debtor's bank account or paychecks. If there are other available assets, sometimes the judgment owner could also attempt to have their Sheriff garnish and sell their judgment debtor's non-exempt property(s).

Usually, in real life, even with the best cases; not every dollar owed on judgments is collected. Usually, you should not attempt to squeeze every last dollar from the debtor, and these are the five top reasons why:

1) Settling is sometimes the creditor's best or only way to be repaid, or to be paid promptly. The definite of, settlement means a compromise on the amount owed to fully repay a judgment. A lot depends on the assets of your judgment debtor. When the debtor is poor, settlements are sometimes the only alternative to them filing for bankruptcy protection; and settlements are sometimes for a few cents on the dollar.

If your debtor has available assets and is doing very well, settlement may net you more money than paying all the costs of a long judgment enforcement campaign or maybe fighting with the debtor's attorney in court.

With cases involving clever rich judgment debtors that have expertly hidden "their" assets; settling for pennies on the dollar may be the judgment owner's only or best opportunity for payment. Of course, those kind of sneaky debtors might not pay when the settlement agreement gets signed.

With a big judgment, where your judgment debtor has substantial available assets; sometimes the judgment debtor's lawyer might try to persuade you to settle with the debtor. The judgment debtor's attorney wants their client to think they have done something. When you reach settlement at (for example seventy-five to eighty percent) cents per dollar (your mileage will vary), it will make their lawyer look good.

2) On a default judgment, especially if they're for far above the plaintiff's actual damages, and/or especially if notice of the plaintiff's original court lawsuit wasn't professionally and personally served; sometimes reach settlement for much less than the full amount. With defaults, many judgment recovery specialists aim for seventy-five to eighty percent of what's owed, because this saves them the risks and costs of enforcement attempts; and pays them much faster. There may be times where, you need to settle for a lot less, partly to make your judgment debtor feel as if they received a deal.

3) Usually, if you garnish your judgment debtor's bank accounts, you won't net enough from the levy to completely satisfy your judgment. There may be times when, during a wage garnishment process, your judgment debtor will lose or quit their job. Sometimes, it makes sense to settle for what you have already got and then satisfy the judgment, so you will finally be done with this matter.

4) Even when you are lucky enough to recover every dollar which is owed, most of the time it won't include your cost of performing that levy. Sometimes, it does not make any sense to garnish again later for that last (e.g., one hundred and fifty dollars) owed, If the expense of doing so is $150.

5) Voluntary settlements may increase the chances that you will be allowed to keep whatever you net. Involuntary levies sometimes result in the judgment debtor filing for bankruptcy protection soon after; potentially making you give back what you levied, due to "look back" bankruptcy-related Federal laws.


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Judgment recovery, is a collections effort, this means to collect or enforce your judgment. Judgment buyers are available and can help you with your judgment collection efforts. Mark D. Shapiro of http://www.JudgmentBuy.com - The fastest and easiest free method of finding the right expert to recover or buy your judgment.

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