News & Resources

Judgment Recovery Collections - 8 Tips for Success

Dec 22, 2011 Randy Mosteller

Winning a lawsuit is only half the battle. Judgment collections can take months or even years. As a debt collector, you know how difficult it can be to track down missing money. If a plaintiff comes to your company for help collecting a legal judgment, you don’t need to feel overwhelmed. These eight tips will help you succeed at judgment recovery collections.

  1. Perform a basic search on the debtor. Like with any attempt at debt collections, start by using software to find quick information about the defendant.

  2. Use reverse searches to verify your information. If you’ve been given the debtor’s phone number or address, use a reverse search to make sure your information is accurate.

  3. Use a quality skip tracing program. If a reverse search hasn’t helped, a skip trace is the next step to verify the debtor’s address. A good skip trace program will also give you information on neighbors and roommates.

  4. Search for assets. After you’ve narrowed down the basic information on the defendant, search their assets. See what can be used to satisfy their judgment.

  5. Contact the debtor. Use an official letterhead and send certified mail explaining your judgment collections experience, your resources, and your determination to collect.

  6. Join the National Judgment Network. Ask your employer to purchase memberships for your department. You gain professional contacts, advice, and can even become certified.

  7. Monitor their credit to get an understanding of their finances. If their score is high, use the next step.

  8. Garnish wages. If their finances are poor, this may be the best way to collect. If their finances are high, threaten to garnish. Explain that their company will learn about their financial situation and offer them an alternative payment plan.

Judgment collections can test even seasoned debt collectors, but with the proper tools and knowledge, you can succeed.