Judgment Recovery: An Explanation in Plain English

For many of us who are in the judgment recovery industry, we often forget that the rest of the world may not really have a clue about what ‘Judgment Recovery‘ is. Here’s an explanation in plain English…

The Dispute

Imagine yourself as John Smith. One of your less fortunate friends, Dan Deadbeat, approaches you for a $2,000 loan so he can buy a used car. You loan him the money, with the understanding that he’ll pay you back in two months.

Two months have gone by, and you’ve called Dan and left several messages – which he doesn’t return. To make the story more interesting, imagine you’ve heard that Dan received a hefty sum of cash from a recently departed relative, so you know he has the money to repay you.

Now six months have passed, but Dan still won’t pay you back. You do what any law-abiding citizen does, and you take the son-of-a-gun to court.

The Court System

After paying your filing fee you are met with an onslaught of forms that must be completed and served on Mr. Deadbeat. You puzzle the forms out, and hand them to the court clerk, who promptly tells you they’re not correct and hands them back.

Now – getting information out of a court clerk can be like trying to corral a herd of eels if you don’t know the right questions to ask. So if you get any information at all, you’re more turned around than when you asked in the first place. But (somehow) you manage to get it done and you schedule your court date.

Your day in court arrives and (wonder of wonders) the judge awards you the judgment. You breathe a big sigh of relief and waive your piece of paper in triumph.

A month goes by.

No word from Dan – or the court. You’re thinking there must have been some hiccup in the legal process because you haven’t seen a check in the mail yet. Naturally, you call the court clerk to ask why you haven’t received your money.

Now comes the big surprise. A real whopper.

It’s totally up to you to make Dan pay. The court can’t help you.

You can garnish Dan’s wages, but where does he work? You can seize Dan’s bank account, but which bank? You can make the sheriff take the car and sell it, but do you know how? Probably none of the above. Back to square one (which is nowhere, by the way).

Can you see the need for someone who not only knows what court procedures to use to enforce the judgment, but how to get the information needed to implement them?

The Judgment Recovery Specialist

One day, a couple of years later, you receive a letter from Statewide Judgment Recovery. Now, believe it or not, you had really forgotten all about the judgment you won against Dan. Of course, this letter sparks your curiosity, so you open it.

It isn’t exactly what you expected, but perhaps the next best thing. This company is telling you they’d seen your judgment at the courthouse and noticed it hasn’t been paid. They want to know if you would be interested in letting them enforce the judgment. Since the company is willing to pay for all of the costs associated with collecting the judgment, no money will come out of your pocket.

Figuring you have nothing to lose, you call the company and take a few minutes to review your case with a friendly and helpful person on the phone.

She tells you they will handle everything necessary to enforce the judgment in exchange for 50% of whatever is collected. It really just turns out to be a simple matter of signing a couple of agreements.

Now, let’s give this faceless judgment recovery person an identity. Let’s call her Beverly. Beverly is a highly trained, specialized kind of bull dog. She’s equipped with everything she needs and all the tricks of the trade to make sure you get your money.

After Beverly receives your signed agreements, she files them with the court clerk, who is actually on good terms with her because they deal with each other all the time. Then the real work begins.

The Chase Is On!

Since you didn’t really have very much information to give Beverly about Dan, it is now up to her to find Dan and his assets. No problem for Beverly, she eats cases like this one for breakfast. In no time at all she nails down where Dan banks and is ready to get the ball rolling.

When a judgment is assigned to someone like Beverly, she becomes, in the eyes of the law, the judgment creditor and new owner of the judgment. She has exactly the same right of enforcement that you had to use the powerful legal remedies provided by law to force Dan to pay the judgment. Actually, Dan now owes the debt to Beverly.

Beverly files a form with the court and sends the sheriff over to the bank to seize the money in the account. A bank account seizure freezes all of the money in the account from the moment it is delivered to the bank. When she receives a check for the money that was in the account, she reimburses herself for the fees she incurred (around $35).

Any court filing fees that Beverly spends are reimbursable, so Beverly adds these costs to the judgment. Dan will ultimately pay for them. Then she keeps half for herself and mails a check for the remainder to you.

The ending to this story is a happy one. You received a substantial chunk of the money that Dan owed you and Beverly got a hefty well-deserved sum as well.

I hope you enjoyed that scenario. If there are other specific topics you’d like to see discussed on this blog, please feel free to post a comment and I’ll do my best to cover them for you.

Warm Regards,


Christina Smiley
Sierra Judgment Recovery



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