We handle all aspects of the collection process including demand for payment, skip tracing, asset location and legal enforcement actions. We act to enforce judgments that we obtain for our clients as well as judgments obtained by others.
Deciding Whether to File a Lawsuit
Although one party to a lawsuit may prevail over the other party, the court will not collect the judgment for the prevailing party. Before filing a lawsuit, you must consider the possibility that a potential defendant may not have the assets to pay a judgment entered against them. It may therefore be in your best interests to consider alternative means of resolving your dispute. We are equipped to conduct investigations into potential defendants’ assets before filing suit to determine whether the case is worth litigating, and helping to coordinate other types of resolution between the parties.
Judgment Enforcement and Recovery
Sometimes after a party prevails in a lawsuit, the debtor owing the judgment amount cannot be located. Debtors often move and a large percentage of collection cases require some form of skip tracing. Skip tracing is the common term used to describe the process of locating a debtor. Even if the debtor’s whereabouts are known, he or she may simply refuse to pay the judgment. We can obtain sensitive information from credit bureaus and other information sources to narrow in on debtor assets and pursue third parties such as business partners and family members who are being used to hold or conceal assets and property from creditors.
The Firm uses remedies to attach assets prejudgment whenever possible in order to encourage the case to settle before judgment, or, if the case does not settle to ensure the assets that will be used to satisfy the judgment have not been transferred or hidden by the other party. For prejudgment attachment to be issued the claim must be based on a contract, the creditor must show probably validity of the claim and the defendant must be a corporation or a person whose business activities are the subject of the claim.
If a prevailing party’s judgment has not been paid by the losing party, it may be possible to garnish his or her wages to satisfy your judgment. In order for the debtor’s wages to be garnished under California law, he or she must receive a regular wage, be paid above the poverty line and not already have his or her wages garnished. The debtor must also remain employed, not successfully contest the garnishment or file for bankruptcy.
Bank Account Levying
There are laws designed to help a creditor levy on bank accounts that may contain commingled funds. In some states, a creditor may levy upon a deposit account in the name of the judgment debtor’s spouse, even if the spouse was not a party to the action leading to the judgment. Different states have varying laws regarding bank account levying.
Deciding Whether to Refer Your Claim to a Collections Agency
A collection agency is an organization specializing in obtaining payment from debtors. In certain circumstances, it may be advisable for a creditor to use a commercial collections agency to handle his or her collections.
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
To resist collection, debtors often allege violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) against creditor’s claims. The FDCPA is designed to protect debtors from certain actions by creditors and their representatives. We have the requisite knowledge to avoid violations and the expertise to defend against meritless claims when asserted by debtors.
Do not complicate matters and expend unnecessary efforts and money by attempting to enforce your own judgment. It is important to have experienced attorneys on your side to give you the legal advice and guidance to maximize your recovery potential.