|Can I collect interest
on my unpaid judgment?
How about using a collection agency?
Why shouldn't I use an attorney to collect my judgment?
Is there any guarantee you will collect on my judgment?
Must I pay for the expenses incurred in enforcing my
I want nothing to do with the debtor! How involved will
How long before I actually see results?
Do you immediately contact the debtor? What is your
Do you think it's wise to push a debtor into bankruptcy?
Do you offer other services? Do you collect on outstanding
debts that have not gone to judgment yet?
My judgment is from outside California, but my debtor
moved to California.
What if the debtor files bankruptcy?
I cannot reach the debtor's assets because he has put
them in another person's name.
What is your rate of recovery?
Do you accept all judgments?
How much do you pay?
HOW ARE YOU ABLE TO DO WHAT YOU DO?
In today's world, hardly a transaction can be effected without leaving
some sort of paper trail. Armed with the right resources, it is becoming
increasingly difficult to hide in today's high-tech society. We use
legal means of locating debtors and assets, including computer research,
credit reports, public and non-public records, court research, mail
and telephone tracing, records obtained by subpoena, and gumshoe tactics
which require in-the-field investigation. We have legal access to information
not available to the general public and are approved to utilize "restricted"
databases used by law enforcement and investigative agencies. We are
authorized by the court to enter the "secure" files area,
which increases the efficiency of our research/investigations. The
majority of debtors are ultimately located. We have the resources,
expertise, and resolve to make collection of your judgment a priority.
We will conduct a thorough investigation to uncover any assets and
income, and take the necessary steps to levy on them. >> Top
IS THERE A STATUTE OF LIMITATONS ON MY JUDGMENT?
Yes. Each state sets a limit on how long a judgment is enforceable.
In California a judgment is valid for ten years; however, if renewed
before 10 years, it will be extended for another 10 years. Criminal judgments do not require renewal. >>
CAN I COLLECT UNPAID INTEREST ON MY JUDGMENT?
Yes. California statute currently provides for interest of 10% per
annum on the principal amount of a money judgment remaining unsatisfied. Interest on federal judgments is tied to U.S. Treasury Securities
HOW ABOUT USING A COLLECTION AGENCY?
Our method of proceeding against debtors is different from that of
a collection agency. We do not engage in telephone calls to harass
or annoy the debtor, nor do we send dunning notices. These methods
are generally ineffective in obtaining payment. Many collection agencies
deal in volume and depend on commercial clients who send them
hundreds of accounts. Dunning letters are sent out in the hopes that
a certain percentage will pay with little resistance. Those debts
that never pay are usually the ones that end up on our desk! Judgment
enforcement requires substantial resources and is very time intensive.
With an emphasis on volume, the average collection agency usually
cannot invest the necessary resources and time required for enforcement.
WHY SHOULDN'T I USE AN ATTORNEY TO
The use of a lawyer in some instances may be a wise choice. If your
judgment is large and you already know where the debtor's assets
are, you may be best to hire an attorney on an hourly basis to
seize assets and keep 100% of the recovery. However, this is rarely
the case. Most judgment creditors not only don't know "where
the assets are", they don't have a clue where the debtor is.
Too, in most cases, the attorney who was successful in getting his
client a judgment generally wants nothing to do with collecting it!
Judgment enforcement is a specialty which requires substantial time,
special tools and resources. More often than not, attorneys will forward
their own judgments to someone like us for collection. >> Top
COLLECT MY JUDGMENT?
IS THERE ANY GUARANTEE YOU WILL COLLECT
No. Sometimes judgment debtors are "judgment proof", meaning
they have no assets and their income is exempt from attachment. Or
your debt could be legally discharged in a bankruptcy. However, debtors
do not always remain uncollectible. A change of circumstances, even
years later, could make a difference. No file should be closed until
it is collected or by order of a bankruptcy court. >> Top
ON MY JUDGMENT?
MUST I PAY FOR THE EXPENSES INCURRED IN ENFORCING MY JUDGMENT?
You pay no fees, expenses or costs to initiate the collection proceeding.
We advance all costs, and are reimbursed only if and when there
is a recovery. If a court declares the debtor bankrupt, it is our
loss and we have no recourse to collect our costs. Administrative
overhead and "time" are not factored as costs. Only actual
incurred expenses (credit reports, sheriff, court fees, online research
charges) are calculated as costs. Some of these costs may even be
added onto the judgment.
I WANT NOTHING TO DO WITH THE DEBTOR!
Once the "Acknowledgment of Assignment" is filed, the court recognizes
us as the Judgment Creditor. In most cases you will never have to deal
with the Judgment Debtor again. >> Top
HOW INVOLVED WILL I BE?
HOW LONG BEFORE I ACTUALLY SEE RESULTS?
The majority of debtors are found within 90 days. Some are located immediately
and a few can take several months or even years. Judgment enforcement takes time due to a number of
factors. Even if assets are immediately located, (not usually the case)
the processing of your case through the "system" can add weeks,
even months. Enforcement is a priority for us; however,
other entities we deal with (Sheriff's Dept., the court, etc.) act within
their own sphere of time. Moreover, with California's current financial crisis, the courts have laid off hundreds of clerks. The superior courts now close one day out of the month. In some courts, it would not be unusual to take two months to process a writ of execution. Many of the existing laws favor the debtor, and
a knowledgeable debtor may take steps to buy extra time. We make every
effort, however, to thwart any such fallacious maneuvers by the debtor. Thus it will
take time, energy, lots of resources...and patience. The good news is that
our efforts are generally rewarded. Ultimately, the key to recovery is
"intelligent persistence." >> Top
DO YOU IMMEDIATELY CONTACT THE DEBTOR?
Once we have located the debtor it is rarely necessary to contact him.
When we have sufficient facts before us, we develop a strategy. If assets
are located, we take the steps to seize those assets without prior notice,
to prevent the debtor from transferring or concealing those assets. If
there appears to be no visible assets, we obtain a court order requiring
the debtor or other knowledgeable third parties to appear in court for
examination to discover his assets and to produce documents. Once the debtor
realizes his predicament, he will often attempt to pay the debt, although
in some cases, will seek protection in bankruptcy.
WHAT IS YOUR STRATEGY?
DO YOU THINK IT'S WISE TO PUSH A DEBTOR
Except in circumstances where it is in a creditor's interest to force an involuntary bankruptcy, it generally serves no purpose to push a debtor into bankruptcy. A judgment creditor
is best served to encourage the debtor to remain solvent and assist with
a payment plan, especially if the debtor exhibits a genuine willingness
to cooperate. If the debtor is solvent and refuses to pay the debt, however,
we will take aggressive steps to seek payment. Sometimes this will result
in a bankruptcy, although it is our usual experience that aggressive pursuit
results in payment rather than bankruptcy. >> Top
WHAT ELSE DO YOU DO?
No. We enforce money judgments only. >> Top
DO YOU COLLECT ON OUTSTANDING DEBTS THAT
HAVE NOT GONE TO JUDGMENT
MY JUDGMENT IS FROM OUTSIDE CALIFORNIA.
Your judgment can be transferred into California, making it enforceable
in this state. >> Top
BUT MY DEBTOR MOVED TO CALIFORNIA.
WHAT IF THE DEBTOR FILES BANKRUPTCY?
Your judgment can be legally discharged and your case closed. In some instances,
if your judgment contains a court finding of fraud or the judgment was
for an intentional tort, your claim can survive a bankruptcy. One must,
however, move expeditiously in bankruptcy court to preserve creditors'
rights. If the debtor's petition is fraudulent it can be challenged, and
if the bankruptcy is "dismissed", the debt may continue to be
pursued. A bankruptcy "discharge", however, is the death knell
for most debts. >> Top
I CANNOT REACH THE DEBTOR BECAUSE HE HAS
This often happens with larger judgments. Under the Uniform Code of Fraudulent
Transfers, assets can be recovered if fraudulently moved to another entity
or person. If it appears that the "badges of fraud" are present,
a separate suit against the transferee can be filed. >> Top
PUT THEM IN ANOTHER PERSON'S NAME.
WHAT IS YOUR RATE OF RECOVERY?
The rate of recovery is not readily determinable because each case has
its own peculiar problems, and no file is closed until collected. Thus
a debt which remains uncollected today may be satisfied tomorrow. In general,
however, our recovery rate is over twice the national average, and we have
been successful in locating most of the debtors involved. >> Top
DO YOU ACCEPT ALL JUDGMENTS?
No. Each case is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. We are unable
to accept medical and family law judgments, and we usually do not accept small claims
or unlawful detainers. >> Top
HOW MUCH DO YOU PAY?
The amount is determined by a number of factors surrounding each judgment. Normally your judgment
is purchased for a percentage of the recovery. We would be glad
to discuss this with you. >> Top