Applying a Business Approach to Collecting a Judgment

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Winning a judgment in civil court can make you feel like you have just won the most important battle of your life. You might feel like trash talking while running a few laps around the courthouse. But winning may have been the easy part. Collecting could be much harder. That being the case, it is best to apply a business approach moving forward.

Assuming that a judgment is monetary in nature, the losing party must pay the winning party the judgment amount plus extra for legal expenses and interest. How the winning party goes about collecting makes a significant difference. Too much aggression could lead to the losing party becoming hyper defensive. On the other hand, too much leniency could ultimately mean never being paid.

Applying the business approach to collecting an outstanding judgment makes it easier to occupy that middle ground. What you are doing in your collection efforts is nothing personal; it is just business. Approaching it with a business-like attitude devoid of emotion tends to yield the best results.

Start by Just Asking

Judgment collectors is a Utah collection agency that specializes in judgments. They pursue cases in eleven states. Their advice to anyone who has just won a judgment is to start out by simply asking for the money. Sending a standard business letter reiterating the results of the case and requesting immediate payment might be all that is necessary to get things closed up.

The worst that could happen is that the losing party does not remit payment. But even if that’s the case, the winning party is no worse off than before the letter was sent.

Offer a Payment Plan

Let us assume the winning party sends a request letter with no success. We can also assume that the monetary award is sizable. Outside of civil litigation, how do most companies collect large sums of money from their customers? Through some sort of credit arrangement. This suggests that the winning party could offer to set up a payment plan.

A payment plan represents a good compromise. The winning party refuses to let the debt go. Meanwhile, the losing party has an opportunity to pay off the debt at an affordable pace. Everybody wins when payment plans are reached and adhered to.

Start Looking for Assets

A business-like approach suggests that the winning party do their due diligence while waiting for a response to a request letter or payment plan. Said due diligence includes looking for assets. Whose assets? The losing party’s.

Should it become necessary, certain types of assets can be leveraged to encourage payment. There are two ways to go after assets: liens and writs of seizure. Judgment Collectors says both should be on the table if a creditor really wants to get paid.

A lien is a legal document demonstrating a creditor’s interest in a debtor’s property. If the winning party were to place a lien on a business property owned by the losing party, that property could not be sold or otherwise disposed of without the judgment first being satisfied. It is similar to the lien a bank puts on a home purchased with a mortgage.

Writs of seizure give a winning party the legal authority, through the local sheriff’s department, to seize and sell certain types of assets for payment. Hopefully, it doesn’t get to that.

The key to successfully collecting a judgment without getting wrapped up in the stress of it all is to apply a business approach. Pursue collection as though it were a business opportunity. Your chances of a successful collection or better that way.

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