Hooray, you finally get a judgement to pay off that debt that was owed to you. A Florida Judgement, however is not the easiest to collect on. Here are the steps of escalation that are generally for Florida Judgement collection.
First Steps for Judgement Collection
1. Lien any real-estate
2. Lien business property
3. Negotiate a payment plan (if that worked, you probably wouldn’t have had to get a judgement, but sometimes, having a judgement in hand makes people more amenable to doing the right thing)
4. Use the courts to engage a debtor’s examination. Sometimes, in this process, you will get paid before you actually finish the examination. Debtor’s examination will likely be a future blog topic.
General Collection Techniques
5. Garnish wages (that always gets a persons attention!)
6. Levy bank accounts
7. Engage a till tap.. where you actually collect out of the debtors cash register
8. Collect from the business that owes the funds as it comes in.
9. If the debtor filed for bankruptcy, file a proof of claim with the courts.
10. In the event of death, file a creditors claim against the estate
11. Collect on debts owed by 3rd parties.
Calling in the big guns
12. Seize business assets
13. Seize their vehicles
14. Seize personal assets
15. Get a court order to seize personal property in a private home
16. Force the sale of real estate
The bottom line is that if you have had to go all the way to getting a judgement, chances are, the gloves have come off, and this is no longer an amenable collection action. The court has provisions for the legal collection of the debt, and they tend to be fairly draconian and severe.
It is far better to engage a collections agency early in the process, and avoid this time consuming and expensive process through intelligent early professional debt collection intervention.
Till Next Time….