Judgment Recovery Methods in California

Judgment Recovery Methods in California

Judgment recovery methods in California are the topic of this article. This article will discuss some of the more commonly used methods for collecting on an unwanted jurisdiction in the State of California. These are very common as there are estimates stating that approximately 80% of them are never collected.

I have been collecting unpaid judgments in California since 1992 when I worked in commercial and industrial property management and over the years I have collected on many both large and small as an employee and as a redemption recovery professional.

Anyone who has ever obtained a judgment soon discovers that while the Court may enter it they will not collect it for you. In the real word few debtors if any ever voluntarily pay which makes the judgment creditor liable for collecting the judgment. However the Court will issue certain documents that are very useful in collecting such as writs of execution, abstracts of judgment, order to appear for examination for a judgment debtor, etc.

There are two major collection methods that can be used in collecting which are discussed briefly below. Anyone attempting to collect on an unpaid judgment should carefully consider which of the two methods they wish to use.

The first method is what I call the active method. The active method actively actively taking steps to collect such as levying on bank accounts, scheduling judgment debtor examinations, serving wage garnishments, requesting assignment orders, etc. The active method is my personal favorite for collecting as it increases the odds of collection. However it does have one major disadvantage which is that it takes time and money to pursue the active method. Another disadvantage is that it may facilitate the judgment debtor to take certain actions to avoid having to pay the judgment such as filing for bankruptcy, moving out of state, etc.

The second method is what I call the passive method. The passive method works best in situations where you know that the judgment debtor owns or has an ownership interest in real property located in a certain county. In that case you could record an abstract of judgment in the county where the real property is located and that will place a recorded lien on any present or future ownership interest by the judgment debtor in any real property located in that county that will last in most cases until the judgment expires or the judgment is paid off. Another situation would be if the judgment debtor owns a business in which case you can file a notice of judgment lien with the California Secretary of State. The major advantage of the passive method is that in most cases it takes less time and money to utilize the passive method. However the major disadvantage to the passive method is that you may have to wait a long time before the judgment is paid off.

This article provides only a brief overview of the basic strategy for California recovery. While some individuals do well collecting their own unpaid sentences many do not have the time, money or inclining to attempt collection on their own. Those individuals may want to consider assigning the judge to a judicial recovery professional.


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