Buy and Sell debt portfolios online

How to Collect a Judgment from a Business

Fact checked
Read time:

This text has undergone thorough fact-checking to ensure accuracy and reliability. All information presented is backed by verified sources and reputable data. By adhering to stringent fact-checking standards, we aim to provide you with reliable and trustworthy content. You can trust the information presented here to make informed decisions with confidence.

Table of contents
Key takeaways:
To collect a judgment from a business, you typically start by locating the business's assets and determining if they have sufficient assets to cover the judgment. If they do, you can initiate legal procedures, such as filing a writ of execution or garnishing their bank accounts, to seize and liquidate these assets to satisfy the judgment.

Navigating the jurisdiction and civil procedure of judgment collection can be daunting, especially when dealing with enforcement efforts in business proceedings. This post demystifies the judgment enforcement process under civil procedure, emphasizing the importance of due diligence in your collection efforts against judgment debtors and highlighting how court proceedings can bolster these endeavors. Whether you're a judgment creditor seeking to enforce a court judgment on judgment debtors or an individual grappling with collection agencies, understanding the process of judgment enforcement against a business is crucial. Equip yourself with this counsel and information, approach your next jurisdiction proceedings, judgment collection, and even finding a judgment against me confidently.

Identifying Judgment Debtor's Assets

Using Discovery Tools

Judgment creditors often use discovery tools. These help locate a business debtor's assets. For example, interrogatories or depositions can reveal asset locations.

Importance of Asset Types

It's crucial to identify both tangible and intangible assets. Tangible assets are physical things like buildings or equipment. Intangible ones are non-physical, like trademarks or patents.

Hidden or Transferred Assets

Sometimes, judgment debtors hide or transfer their assets. This is illegal and can lead to serious legal implications for judgment enforcement, court judgment, client, and debt collection. If discovered, the courts might reverse the transfer or penalize the debtor during enforcement, impacting judgment collection by the collection agency.

Perfecting Lien Rights for Recovery

Filing liens, understanding their impact on debtors, and enforcement of court judgment are crucial in judgment collection for a collection agency. They play a significant role in securing repayments.

Why File Liens Against Debtors Property

Filing a lien against a debtor's property is not just paperwork; it's a court judgment that often involves a collection agency and counsel. It's a powerful tool to collect your judgment from a judgment debtor or business, even considering debt collection practices and exempt property. When you, as a judgment debtor, file a lien against a business debtor, you're essentially stating, "Hey, I have rights to this property until my owed money is paid back."

  • Real estate: If the debtor owns real estate, filing a lien can secure your claim over it.
  • Equity: A lien lets you tap into the equity of the debtor’s property.
  • Exempt property: Some properties of a judgment debtor or business debtor are exempt from liens under state laws. So, always check local regulations first.

Impact on Debtors Credit Report

A filed lien can be a major blow to the debtor’s credit report. It stays there like an unwanted guest, making future transactions tough for them.

  • Credit score: A lien can drop their credit score faster than a hot potato.
  • Future transactions: Buying or selling properties becomes harder with liens attached.

Role of Lien Rights in Repayment Security

Lien rights are like your safety net when trying to collect judgement from businesses. They ensure that even if the business goes belly-up, you'll still get your money back.

Steps for Requesting Post-Judgment Money

Issuing a writ of execution or garnishment and following state-specific guidelines are crucial to collect a judgement from a business. If the debtor fails to pay, there could be serious consequences.

Issuing Writs and Garnishments

Once you've won your small claims case, it's time to collect. This is where a writ of execution or garnishment comes into play.

  • A writ of execution allows the sheriff to seize the debtor's assets.
  • Garnishment means taking money directly from the debtor's wages or bank account.

These legal tools can help you get your money.

State-Specific Guidelines Matter

Different states have different rules for collecting judgments. It's important to know what these are in your state.

For example, some states require creditors to wait 30 days after the judgment before they can start collection efforts. Others might need specific forms filled out and filed with the court.

Following these guidelines will make your collection process smoother and more successful.

Consequences for Non-Payment

If a business doesn't pay up after losing in small claims court, they're not off the hook just yet. There can be serious consequences for failing to pay post-judgment money.

This could include additional fines or even criminal charges in some cases. So, it’s best for businesses to clear their debts promptly.

Remember: winning a judgment is only half the battle. Collecting on that judgment requires careful planning and persistence but knowing how to navigate this process will put you on track towards getting what you’re owed.

Enforcing a Judgment Debt

Bailiffs in Debt Recovery

Enforcement officers, or bailiffs, play a vital role in debt collection. They ensure judgment creditors get their money. For instance, they can seize property from a debtor's business to pay off the debt.

Legal Actions Against Non-Compliant Debtors

When businesses refuse to honor court judgments, there are legal options. Creditors can hire a collection agency. Or they might garnish the debtor's bank accounts.

Consequences for Non-Compliant Businesses

Businesses that ignore judgments face serious consequences in the United States. They could have their assets seized. Their credit rating may also take a hit.

Here are some enforcement efforts:

  • Seizure of business assets
  • Garnishment of bank accounts
  • Filing for bankruptcy on behalf of the debtor

Remember this: laws vary by county and state. So it's key to understand your local laws about judgment enforcement.

Renewal and Satisfaction of Judgment

Renewing an Unsatisfied Judgment

Sometimes, a judgment might not be paid right away. This can happen in cases where the debtor's business is unable to pay the amount ordered by the court. In such situations, it's possible for you to renew this judgment. The process for renewal varies across jurisdictions, but generally involves filing a request with the court clerk. It's crucial to remember that there are specific conditions and time limits for renewing judgments.

  • Key Info: Judgments can be renewed if they remain unsatisfied.
  • Remember: The process may differ based on your jurisdiction.

Legal Requirements after Full Payment

Once full payment is received from the debtor, there are certain legal requirements that need to be fulfilled. You're required by law to file a satisfaction of judgment with the court clerk. This document proves that the debt has been fully paid.

  • Important: Filing a satisfaction of judgment is mandatory upon receipt of full payment.
  • Example: If you don't do this, you could face penalties or legal action.

Impact on Debtor’s Credit History

The satisfaction or renewal of a judgment has significant impacts on a debtor’s credit history. When a judgment is satisfied, it can improve their credit score since it shows they've fulfilled their obligation. However, if a judgment gets renewed, it could negatively affect their credit because it indicates an ongoing inability to pay debts.

  • Case Study: John's small business had an unpaid judgement which was renewed multiple times due to financial difficulties. As a result, his business credit score suffered significantly.

Key Takeaways for Success

Collecting a judgment from a business may seem daunting, but with the right approach and understanding of the process, it can be accomplished. The key steps involve identifying the debtor's assets, perfecting lien rights for recovery, requesting post-judgment money, enforcing the judgment debt, ensuring renewal and satisfaction of judgment, and even exploring options to sell judgment if necessary. With these steps in mind, you can navigate through this complex process with confidence.

Remember that professional advice is crucial to ensure success in your endeavor. Consulting with legal experts or financial advisors can provide valuable insights into your specific situation. Take action today to secure what is rightfully yours.

Written by
Ivan Korotaev
Debexpert CEO, Co-founder

More than a decade of Ivan's career has been dedicated to Finance, Banking and Digital Solutions. From these three areas, the idea of a fintech solution called Debepxert was born. He started his career in  Big Four consulting and continued in the industry, working as a CFO for publicly traded and digital companies. Ivan came into the debt industry in 2019, when company Debexpert started its first operations. Over the past few years the company, following his lead, has become a technological leader in the US, opened its offices in 10 countries and achieved a record level of sales - 700 debt portfolios per year.

  • Big Four consulting
  • Expert in Finance, Banking and Digital Solutions
  • CFO for publicly traded and digital companies

What debt are we selling

We specialize in car, real estate, consumer and credit cards loans. We can sell any kind of debt.
Interested in buying or selling debt portfolios?
Let's connect! Fill out this form 👇