When Collecting an Unpaid Judgment Becomes Detective Work

Winning a judgment in civil court means winning an order against another party, an order that could involve a financial award. Once the judge’s gavel falls and the case is concluded, it is on to enforcement. That usually means collecting the award. And sometimes, collecting is best left to the professionals.

Judgment Collectors is a collection agency that specializes in judgments. Why would a creditor bring in a collection agency? Why not keep collections in-house and save a little money? Judgment Collectors says it boils down to this: sometimes collecting an unpaid judgment becomes detective work. Creditors do not tend to have what it takes.

It Takes a Special Kind of Skill

Collection agencies are not detective agencies. Collection agency staff are not private detectives. But interestingly enough, detectives and debt collectors do similar work. For example, skip tracing is something that both detectives and collection agencies employ.

Skip tracing is the process of finding people who are trying to avoid the law by hiding. It is not uncommon for such people to skip town, thus the term ‘skip tracing’. When debt collection involves skip tracing, someone who knows nothing about collections would have a challenging time finding the debtor in question.

It takes a special kind of skill to figure out where debtors are hiding. It takes skill to find assets they are trying to keep secret. Skip tracing requires that collection agencies work more like detectives than debt collectors.

The Information is Out There

The thing about hunting down deadbeats is that the information you need to find them is out there. You just need to know where to look for it. You also need to know what it looks like. Sometimes the information you are after isn’t as obvious as one might think.

For example, Judgment Collectors might look into public property records to find out if a targeted debtor owns property they have not disclosed. How would public property records help?

Counties are required by law to record all property transactions that occur within their borders. Those records become part of the public record, which is to say that anyone who wants access to them can have it. These days, the internet makes access easy.

Great Motivation to Pay

When collecting an unpaid judgment becomes detective work, the ultimate goal is to make sure that the debtor knows you are onto him. That is great motivation to pay. Judgment Collectors can testify to that fact first-hand. They have plenty of experience of playing the detective.

The agency once worked on a case involving an uncooperative debtor who claimed to have insufficient resources to pay his bill. Judgment Collectors did a little detective work and discovered that he owned a plane hangar in a different county. Once he knew that the agency was aware of his property, he suddenly changed his tune. He was more than happy to work out a payment arrangement so as to not jeopardize his beloved hangar.

As for judgment creditors, they are at a disadvantage when they don’t know how to do the detective work necessary to pursue an uncooperative debtor. Deters know this, which is why they are so willing to try to skip town, hide their assets, etc. If you were a debtor and you knew the chances of a creditor catching up to you were very slim, how motivated would you be to pay your bill?

The reality of collecting unpaid judgments is that it is not a simple or easy task. More often than not, collecting requires a lot of work. And some of that work is detective work.

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