I have a Judgment – Now What? A Private Investigator to Help Collect
Feb. 7, 2019
Someone caused you damage or didn’t pay you as agreed, so you turned to court for a fair resolution. You paid the filing fees, secured counsel or did research on your own, and took time to go to court and plead your case. You may have even enlisted the help of private investigators to plead your case to the court. But the stress of it all has paid off because the courts have awarded you a judgment! It’s all over and you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that’s behind you finally, right? Well, not quite. Now begins the often arduous and overwhelming process of actually collecting on your judgment.
When you are awarded a judgment, you are issued a writ of execution, meaning you may start collection efforts including seizure of assets to repay a debt owed to you. The courts can’t force your debtor to physically hand over money, and 80% off awarded judgments are never collected on. Additionally, you have only ten years to collect unless you are awarded an extension. During that time, the debtor may refuse to pay, hide assets or even disappear altogether. There are collection firms that can help but they don’t accept all cases, may take years to collect, and charge high fees.
How can a private investigator help?
There is hope, however, as licensed private investigators can not only help you secure a judgment but they can also help ease the stress for you when you need to collect. They can help you locate your debtor if they’ve disappeared by utilizing surveillance, background checks, interviewing witnesses and more. Oftentimes, debtors will hide assets in shell companies or other individual’s names. Experienced private investigators can help identify where assets may be hidden and use legal tools at their unique disposal to uncover said assets. Private investigators can then help you identify which assets you may seize to collect on your judgment. These may include bank accounts, stock or investment portfolios, real estate holdings, wages, vehicles, business assets, and any other income they may receive. Once the hard work of finding assets has been done, you will be able to use the Writ of Execution to garnish wages, access bank accounts, and investments, and seize and auction off assets through the Sheriff’s Office.
If you have secured a judgment against an individual or an organization, chances are good you will need some help collecting on it. Licensed private investigators with experience in collecting on judgments can be worth the small investment to secure the funds owed to you. You don’t have to take this on alone, and you don’t have to fork over a large percentage of your hard-earned judgment to a collection agency.