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How to Collect a Judgment from an LLC

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Collecting a judgment from a Limited Liability Company (LLC) can be a complex process, often requiring careful navigation of legal procedures. Typically, this involves identifying the LLC's assets, securing a court order, and working with a sheriff or marshal to execute the judgment through means such as seizing assets or garnishing income.

Collecting a judgment from a limited liability company (LLC) can be complex, requiring an understanding of legal processes such as judgment liens. The judgment creditor must grasp business structures and jurisdiction to effectively claim from the judgment debtor. The process of setting up a limited liability company involves steps like serving interrogatories, examining the business structure via the operating agreement, identifying membership interests under the jurisdiction, and consulting with attorneys. These tasks aim to uncover the business assets of the judgment debtor that can satisfy the judgment liens, as decided by the judgment creditor and bankruptcy courts. Whether dealing with single member or multiple members LLCs, each presents unique challenges in judgment collection, particularly concerning membership interests. Personal creditors may pose a threat to a debtor business. Consultation with an attorney is often necessary. This post provides a concise overview of how to navigate the process of rights attachment, form completion, and protection effectively, including how to collect a judgment from a business.



Legal Implications in Judgment Collection

State Laws Role

Each state has its own rules. These garnishment rules guide how courts, acting as judgment creditors, collect payment from judgment debtors under the law. For example, in some states, a garnishment order from courts can be placed on the debtor's property by personal creditors for payment, resulting in a judgment lien.

LLCs Non-compliance Consequences

LLCs must follow court orders. If they don't, they face serious consequences. Owners could lose their rights to do business in that jurisdiction if the court, enforcing the law, identifies them as a debtor.

Collection Process Hurdles

Collecting a judgement isn’t always smooth sailing. Sometimes, legal obstacles pop up that slow things down. For instance, garnishment laws vary and can complicate matters.



Utilizing Charging Orders for Collection

What are Charging Orders

Charging orders are court orders. They help creditors collect debts from LLCs.

For example, if a debtor business owes you money, a charging order can enforce payment to you as the judgment creditor, despite personal creditors.

Using Charging Orders for Debt Collection

Charging orders can be useful tools in debt collection. They allow creditors to go after an LLC's distributions.

This implies that any payment the LLC, as a business debtor, disburses, the personal creditors of the owners get first dibs on it. But remember, this doesn't include salary payments to members.

For instance, if a business debtor such as an LLC makes a profit and decides to distribute some of it as payment among its members with a membership interest, the personal creditors with a charging order will get paid before anyone else does.

Limitations of Charging Orders

However, charging orders have limitations too. They only apply to an LLC's distributions.

This implies that if the debtor LLC doesn't make any payment distributions or compensates its members through salaries instead of membership interest, the personal creditors might not receive anything.

Furthermore, certain states restrict the application of charging orders against single-member LLCs, impacting membership interest, creditors, owners, and potentially benefiting a judgment creditor. In these cases, creditors, acting as the charging party, may need to find other ways to enforce their rights and collect their debts from the debtor, ensuring payment.

Using a charging order to secure payment can be complex for a creditor and might require hiring a collection agency or lawyer, which could result in additional fees. This process can affect both the debtor and creditors' rights, necessitating careful consideration.

For example, if a debtor's LLC has multiple bank accounts or operates in different states, collecting payment through a charging order from judgment creditors could become complicated and costly.

Recognizing Personal Liability Shield

Understanding LLC's Personal Liability Shields

Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), where members enjoy rights, have a feature known as a personal liability shield protecting against judgment creditors. This shield protects the personal assets of a member within the LLC from debtor and creditors' interest. It's like having a big, strong wall around your stuff, a member's order of interest in states.

Impact on Judgment Collections

Now, here's the kicker. Because of these shields, creditors collecting a judgment from a debtor member of an LLC can face interest-related challenges. Consider the interest of trying to get past that big wall, as a member, we discussed earlier in order to tackle the debtor issue. Not so easy, right?



Navigating Around Liability Shields

But don't worry! There are ways to navigate around these shields. Here are some steps you might take:

  1. Pierce the corporate veil: This means demonstrating that the LLC is not separate from its owner(s), thereby making them a potential creditor, subject to interest. If you can generate interest from the creditor, you could reach their personal assets.
  2. Claim statutory exemptions: Some property is exempt from collection by a creditor under state law, regardless of interest. You may need to claim these exemptions.
  3. Target non-exempt property: If there's property that isn't protected by statutory exemptions, it might be up for grabs by the creditor.

Remember though, every creditor case is different and what works for one creditor might not work for another.

Enforcing Judgments Against LLCs

Legal Tools at Your Disposal

When a court rules in your favor against an LLC, you, as the creditor, have legal tools to collect the judgement. One common method is a sheriff's levy.

A sheriff can seize and sell debtor business assets. This helps pay off the judgement.

Challenges with LLCs

Collecting from LLCs isn't always easy though. There are laws that protect member LLCs and their personal assets from creditors.

For instance, some states don't allow creditors to seize personal assets unless it's proven that the business owners used the company for fraud.

Timing and Strategy Matter

Enforcing judgments require smart timing and strategy. Working with experienced attorneys can be beneficial.

Creditors know when to move fast or slow down depending on the case. For example, if a creditor's opposing party files bankruptcy, it may be better for the creditor to wait until after proceedings end.



Post-Lawsuit Steps: Judgment Execution

Necessary Actions Post Lawsuit

After you win a lawsuit, the work isn't over. You need to collect your judgment from the LLC.

First, get a writ of execution from the court. This is an official paper that lets you, the creditor, collect your money. Your lawyer can help with this.

Next, find out where the judgment debtor's assets are. These could be bank accounts or property.

Role of Court Officials

Court officials play a big part in this process. They're like your helpers.

The sheriff, for example, can serve the writ of execution to the judgment debtor on behalf of the creditor. They make sure everything is done by the book.

Bankruptcy courts also come into play if the LLC, as a debtor, files for bankruptcy after losing a lawsuit to a creditor.

Potential Complications

Collecting your judgment from a creditor might not always be smooth sailing though. Sometimes there are bumps in the road.

For example, if an LLC doesn't have enough assets to pay off its debts to creditors, it might declare bankruptcy. If that happens, you'll have to deal with your creditor and go through bankruptcy court to try and get your money back.

Also remember that getting a writ is not an exclusive remedy for a creditor. It's just one step in collecting what you're owed.

Recap and Practical Guidelines

Navigating the complexities of collecting a judgment from an LLC as a creditor can be challenging. Understanding the legal implications for a creditor, utilizing charging orders, recognizing the personal liability shield of a creditor, enforcing judgments, and taking post-lawsuit steps are crucial to successful judgment collection for a creditor. Expert guidance can be beneficial in these situations.

For more detailed information or professional assistance with your creditor situation, consider consulting with a legal expert. They can provide tailored advice to help you navigate through the creditor process effectively and efficiently, including options to sell judgment to a collection agency if it's a viable solution for your case.

How Debexpert Can Help You to Collect a Judgment From an LLC?

Debexpert, as an international debt trading platform with expertise in buying and selling debt portfolios, can play a significant role in assisting you with the challenging task of collecting a judgment from an LLC. Here's how Debexpert can be beneficial in this context:

  1. Access to a Broad Network: Debexpert connects you with a wide network of debt buyers, debt collection agencies, and financial institutions. This network includes entities interested in purchasing judgment debts, which can be particularly useful when dealing with an LLC.
  2. Efficient Matching: The platform uses advanced algorithms to match your judgment debt with potential buyers who specialize in dealing with LLCs. This ensures that your judgment gets in front of the right audience, increasing the chances of a successful sale.
  3. Market Insights: Debexpert provides valuable market insights and data on judgment debt transactions, including those involving LLCs. This information can help you make informed decisions about pricing and negotiation strategies.
  4. Legal Expertise: The platform often collaborates with legal experts who are well-versed in judgment collection from various entities, including LLCs. These experts can offer guidance on the legal aspects of your case.
  5. Streamlined Transactions: Debexpert facilitates the entire transaction process, from listing your judgment debt to finalizing the sale. This streamlines the often complex process of collecting judgments from LLCs.
  6. Competitive Bidding: By presenting your judgment debt to multiple potential buyers, Debexpert allows for competitive bidding, potentially increasing the sale price.
  7. Confidentiality and Security: The platform prioritizes data security and confidentiality, ensuring that sensitive information related to your case is protected.

If you're seeking to collect a judgment from an LLC, consider taking advantage of Debexpert's specialized platform. By creating a listing for your judgment, you open the door to a network of potential buyers and industry experts who can assist you in navigating the complexities of judgment collection. Don't miss out on the opportunity to efficiently recover what you're owed - get started with Debexpert today!

Written by
Carlos Aispuro
Lender Relationship Director

With thirty years of experience in banking, debt collections, compliance, audit, and governance, I have supported strategic plans and improved customer experiences. I possess hands-on knowledge in crucial C-Suite areas, including developing new policies and procedures, optimizing their models, and exploring new tools to help institutions achieve their goals more effectively.

  • Banking, debt collections, compliance, audit, and governance expert
  • Crucial C-Suite areas expert

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