Judgment Collection Agency
A judgment collection agency is the entity tasked with recovering court ordered payment from debtors who have defaulted and/or abandoned financial obligatory responsibilities. Before full legal action is taken by creditors, bill collectors are often employed using fair (as defined by the federal Fair Collections Practice Act) practices to try and collect the outstanding debt. This may or not be successful, but when it is not, creditors may choose to pursue as much of the debt as possible through legal means. Once the courts have ruled as to how much the debtor must pay, a judgment collection agency may be employed to secure the funds if the debtor continues obstinate refusals to pay. In fact, eighty percent of all judgments are not paid off and it becomes the responsibility of a judgment agency to try and recoup a large percentage of that outstanding money.
A few years ago, there were actually almost nineteen billion dollars of outstanding debt across the country, but that figure has been climbing each year. Since the chances of recovering debt after ninety days is below seventy five percent, and fifty percent after six months despite court judgments that have been rendered, the pressure on judgment collection agency agents is big . But they must abide by the same rules that collectors preceding the judgment are instructed to follow. Because of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, collectors are limited in their recovery tactics. The most underlying principle is a respect for the debtor. If the reader has already gone through some difficult experiences with collectors who have debased you or treated you with disrespect, let it go and take on the words of Jesus. "But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you and pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you." (Matthew 5:44)
The agents who work for a judgment collection agency are sometimes allowed to seek garnishment of wages, attach bank accounts and seize assets. Threats, vulgar language, bullying and other heavy handed tactics are illegal but some websites touting judgment collection training boast that tactics are available to "make debtors miserable." Nonetheless, there are rules for the collection game. Debt collectors may contact a debtor in person, mail, telephone or fax. But they may not contact at inconvenient times such as early morning or after nine p.m. In fact, a collector can be told in a letter from the debtor to stop all calls, letters, etc. and he must comply. In addition, collectors can be sued for violating these and other collector practice requirements from the FDCP Act if acted upon legally within a year.
Skip tracing is a big gun in the judgment collection agency arsenal. The temptation to shun credit debt obligations can be strong and blending into the wallpaper by running away is a choice of some debtors. The ability to find people who have skipped town is key to an agency getting paid. And by the way, these companies usually work on a percentage of the fee being recovered, typically between thirty five and fifty percent. But sophisticated databases and connections all over the country as well as knowledge of the laws of each state regarding the number of years that are allowed for collection are vital in successful recovery. Additionally, the ability for an agency to track the possible widely disbursed assets of a debtor is also required. In some cases, a judgment collection agency will even hire actual private investigators to find those who have seemingly disappeared.
Look, all of this can seem very unfair, especially if a person wakes up one morning and the car has been repossessed or wages have been taken from a paycheck or a bank account has been picked clean by a judgment collection agency. But facing one's debt situation head on is the first real positive step towards getting things back in order. Being angry, feeling sorry for oneself, blaming others and plenty of other ego soothing tactics won't help one bit. A full admission to one's debt culpability must be made, and in that light, strength to go out and do something positive about the problem can be found. And there some options for those steeped in debt obligations.
The real positive steps against debt obligations begin with getting rid of as much property as possible by selling it and applying it to one's debt. It takes a commitment to get rid of furniture and electronic equipment and clothes and perhaps even a car, but all the profit from the sales can possibly make a real dent in obligations. The other positive move is to get a second job and place all the wages on one's debt. These options are painful emotionally and maybe physically in some ways for the debtor, but they are the healthiest moves for a person financially. But a couple of other options are also available.
Credit counseling services can be an answer to a mountain of credit and to the plans of a judgment collection agency for severe action against the debtor. These services can negotiate much lower monthly debt payments for all unsecured loans, including credit card, charge card and signature loans. Credit counseling gets all these loans consolidated into one much lower payment and if faithful to the program, a debtor can pay off all these debts in five years or less. It is damaging to someone's credit score but may be a great alternative for already damaged histories. Finally, bankruptcy, the most severe of all debt solutions may be the last resort, but only for those who are at or below a state's median income level.
Judgment Recovery BusinessStarting a judgment recovery business can be an interesting and potentially lucrative venture. But before embarking into this field, it would be wise to attempt to understand just what this work actually entails. Often, money that was awarded in legal judgments goes unclaimed. These debts might be a result of small claims court rulings or civil court verdicts. Since this is an area that is relatively unlicensed, many individuals are choosing this field as a potential career. However, there is talk of requiring licensing for any practitioners in this field in the future. Many individuals who pursue starting a judgment recovery business have a background in private investigation. This is because a large part of the task at hand will involve locating missing people who do not wish to be found. Once located, steps can be taken to obtain payments by garnishing wages or by other means. Placing liens on property may be another effective approach. Locating hidden assets can sometimes complicate issues in these situations. There are many training classes and resources available to anyone who wishes to prepare themselves for work in this area. In addition, there are many effective software tools that can be used to simplify record keeping and handling case information when collecting on these debts.
To start a judgment recovery business, a lay person who is not familiar with how these proceedings take place will need to seek out some form of training. These ventures are usually set up as home run businesses. Since this is the case, a well supplied office, a separate bank account that is dedicated to the venture, a computer with a high speed internet connection, some type of related software product, a dedicated telephone line, and a list of contacts will be necessary staples. There are also public records databases that a potential specialist in this area can subscribe to. These databases contain many public records and are helpful sources of the names and addresses of individuals who are owed funds that were rewarded in legal judgments. All new businesses will require professional marketing material to get the word out about services offered. It is generally a good idea to make sure that any potential clients understand that they will not need to pay any money up front. Payment will only be required when a specialist succeeds at recovering debt. The specialist will generally receive a percentage of the recovered funds. Another important step in starting a judgment recovery business would be the preparation of a written contract. This contract will explain to the client how things will move forward in these procedures. The aide of a lawyer will be needed in drafting this contract.
Another good resource of information for the owner of a judgment recovery business is the local courthouse. A number of valuable civil records can inform a specialist in this area on the names of any potential clients. Statutes can vary, but generally, records dating back up to seven years can be searched. Of course, the older the case, the more difficult if might turn out to be. When working on a case, funds can be attained by seizing certain assets. Some of these assets could include banks accounts, real estate, wages, cars, business income, or security deposits. Bank accounts can sometimes provide the quickest way to recover funds. Real estate can be useful in retrieving funds as well. Liens can be attached to most properties and can be used effectively to enforce judgments. Renters will generally have security deposits on file with a landlord. These deposits can be seized to pay debts and can be an effective way to recover funds for a client. All of these resources can hold keys to potential sources of income for anyone operating a judgment recovery business. According to the Bible, there are many blessings in store for the righteous. "The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon." (Psalm 92:12)
Before starting a judgment recovery business, there may be some important questions that a potential specialist in this field will need to ask. As with any self employment endeavor, an entrepreneur should decide whether or not they have the temperament to run their own business. Does the individual have the discipline to work unsupervised? Does the risk involved in starting a new venture compare favorably to the potential for income and independence? Does the potential entrepreneur enjoy a work day that is filled with variety or does a regular routine seem more appealing? Are the many details that will accompany self employment to the individual's liking? Is the individual a self starter? Will the family of the entrepreneur be supportive of the new endeavor? If, after considering all of these questions, a job in this field still seems appealing, this profession may be a good fit.
When embarking on starting a judgment recovery business, it can be important to remember that not all cases will yield significant profit. If the person who owes the debt has little in the way of assets, income or cash on hand, the chances of recovering very much money are obviously very slim. Careful selection of cases can be a wise way to proceed. Many professionals in this area will not accept cases with judgments that fall under a certain financial threshold. This is because the work and time involved on each case can be very extensive. Only a large judgment would make the work worthwhile.