What Do Judgment Collection Agencies Actually Do?

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There are general collection agencies, and then there are those that specialize in judgments. These specialty agencies are sometimes referred to as judgment collection agencies. But what do they do? What makes them different from general agencies?

Judgment Collectors is a specialty agency located in Salt Lake City. They work on judgments in eleven states including Utah, California, Arizona, Ohio, and Georgia. There are a lot of things that make what they do unique. For starters, the only cases they work on are judgment cases.

Collecting Monetary Awards

A judgment collection agency specializes exclusively in collecting monetary awards. What are monetary awards? They are the financial payments ordered in civil court judgments. For example, a driver in a personal injury case might win an award worth several million dollars.

General collection agencies are also after financial gain. But they are collecting on standard types of bills. General collection agencies take cases involving medical bills, car payments, outstanding rents, and so forth. The major difference is that they are collecting on debts that have never been taken to court.

Why Plaintiffs Go to Court

It is not unusual for Judgment Collectors to work on behalf of a plaintiff who was owed money before ever going to court. A general collection agency could have collected that money. So then, why go to court? Because litigation allows the plaintiff to obtain a judgment.

A judgment is a legal decision it does three things:

  1. It recognizes the legality of the debt in question.
  2. It establishes the debt as a legally transferable asset.
  3. It gives plaintiffs access to legal tools that are otherwise unavailable.

The third point ties into something else that makes judgment collection agencies a bit different. Following a judgment, a collection agency can take advantage of things like wage garnishment, property liens, and writs of seizure. These are things that general collection agencies do not have access to on debts that have never gone to court.

Utilizing Skip Tracing

Losing parties in civil lawsuits, also known as judgment debtors, have been known to go to great lengths to avoid making payment. They may provide incorrect information about employment and income. They might try to hide assets. Some will even go to the trouble of moving and not providing forwarding information.

Tracking down debtors purposely trying to hide is not the easiest thing in the world. Fortunately, judgment collection agencies tend to employ people who specialize in skip tracing. What is skip tracing? It is a collection of tools and investigative strategies used by debt collectors, bounty hunters, and private detectives searching for people who do not want to be found.

A general collection agency could utilize skip tracing as well. More often than not, they don’t need to. They are collecting on local debts from individuals and organizations not trying to stay hidden.

Searching for Assets

Tangible assets are the teeth in the mouth of judgment collection. Judgment debtors fearful of losing valuable assets will often pay up. Such was the case with a debtor Judgment Collectors was working on several years ago. That debtor owned an airplane hangar discovered during a property search. Once the debtor knew his hangar had been found, he made the wise decision to pay up.

Judgment collection agencies make a point of searching a variety of property records looking for tangible assets. It is just one of the many things they do that make their form of debt collection unique. If I were trying to collect a judgment, I wouldn’t even think about doing it myself. I would bring in a judgment collection agency right away.

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