All posts by Joe Dickerson

The Art of War

By: Joe H. Dickerson, CFE

The Art of War

I have been a student of Sun Tzu and The Art of War for many years, as you can probably tell from the worn condition of some of my books. The wisdom of Sun Tzu has survived a few thousand years and is currently applicable, not only to war but also to many other facets of our modern life and businesses.

As I study these various translations and treaties of The Art of War, I continue to find more and more application to my profession of Judgment Enforcement; which I will be sharing with you periodically.

My Favorite: “Take from a man that which he treasures, and he will follow your way.”

Application: As it is important to pay attention to the demographics of a debtor, it is equally important to be interested in the psychographics of the debtor as well. You want to understand what makes the judgment debtor tick. I learn as much as I can about the debtor from our client  and the preliminary forensic research our staff does on every case as part of our pre-engagement due diligence.

In doing our preliminary research on this $1.25 million judgment debtor, I found he had obtained a big game hunting license for ALASKA for the last eight years. It was obvious that this guy was not a casual hunter – I suspected he was a big game hunter. I talked to my client who said he thought the debtor was probably a Trophy Hunter but referred me to a friend who was a former employee of the judgment debtor. I had a 10-15 minute casual conversation with him about the debtor – then before hanging up I said, “By the way, is he (the debtor) a fisherman or hunter?” He replied that the debtor was a big-time game hunter who had his entire family room full of trophies.

With this information, I had our attorney subpoena the Homeowners insurance company for a copy of the policy and all scheduled assets. Listed there were: jewelry, furs, artwork, antiques, several high-powered guns and a list of mounted trophies.

With that list of assets, we were able to get a Writ of Execution issued by the court to the Sherriff to raid the debtor’s home and take assets to satisfy the judgment.

I arranged the date for a raid, a moving van with sufficient manpower to load anything we took from the debtor’s home, and a locksmith in case the home was locked or if there were locked files, safes, etc. We had pre-arranged for the sheriff to announce himself then enter the home, show the debtor the Writ, then search the home and remove all weapons before our team entered.

As we started to take our judgment debtor’s lifelong collection of mounted hunting trophies, he immediately agreed to pay the $1.25 million civil judgment against him. Gathered from our preliminary research, we had enough information to form a good idea of what we were dealing with in this case. We got what we wanted in exchange for his trophy collection that he “cherished” as it represented a lifetime of success in his mind and heart. And I thought to myself, as the saying goes…

“Take from a man that which he treasures, and he will follow your way.”

 – Sun Tzu

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“Diagnostic & Prescriptive Judgment Enforcement – The New Model for Judgment Enforcement”

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Be sure to watch for our next blog!

Judgment Enforcement Strategies That Work

October 23rd, 2019
Hosted by Joe H. Dickerson, CFE
Hear our greatest hits on the this episode of The Judgment Enforcement Hour. With over 30 years of experience, Joe Dickerson, CFE and special guest, Al Hochheiser, Esq. talk about their experiences together and educate you on how to outsmart the bad guys. Listen here to learn Judgment Enforcement Strategies That Work.

Cyber Investigation Tips and Tricks

October 16, 2019
Hosted by Joe H. Dickerson
Our data forensic experts are a different breed. Financial Forensic Services offers discreet forensic research separate from financial recovery services. Our digital research experts harvest data from public and proprietary databases. They search for news, unknown circumstances, or undiscovered liabilities that may adversely affect the future of the new acquisition. Listen in to hear Joe and his special guest Andy Kindred talk about how their specialized skills in cyber investigation are essential in asset recovery operations. This includes email tracing, exposing cyber-bullies and other preliminary forensic reviews to locate and evaluate the information you need to make a knowledgeable analysis of your situation and recover your losses.

Helping Your Attorney Recover Your Money

October 9, 2019
Hosted by Joe H. Dickerson
There will always be new angles to financial fraud, embezzlement, and complex schemes to separate honest people from their assets. With an existing judgment, we review the court documents, the evidence, and all clues in the discovery process that may lead to any hidden assets. We can also interview key individuals and witnesses, like you, as a third-party source of recovery. Tonight, Joe Dickerson speaks with Christopher Rose about the importance of “Helping Your Attorney Recover Your Money” as an instrumental piece to helping enforce your judgment. Our capabilities multiply when clients understand the key importance of being available and what information they need to provide to their judgment enforcement team. Joe and Chris will also cover how to identify red flags, asking questions expectations and the end game. On this episode, these topics of conversation will be discussed and explained thoroughly so that your judgment can be one of the 20% that is enforced successfully.

Collecting Judgments in the Debtor Haven of Florida

October 2, 2019
Hosted by Joe H. Dickerson
At Financial Forensic Services, we believe that, like our children, each case is different, and every case management and recovery plan is unique. We believe, regardless of the debtor’s position, that successful asset recovery is possible in appropriate cases and it is our job to accomplish that for our clients. We carefully screen our potential clients and their cases to ensure we accept the appropriate case, and then give them the service and attention they deserve. Each state has a Fraudulent Conveyance or Fraudulent Transfer Act. Demonstrating the existence of a fraudulent transfer allows the court to set aside the transfer in your favor, thereby recovering these assets. Listen this week to Joe Dickerson talk with Jason Ellison as they reveal tried and true processes for Collecting Judgments in the Debtor Haven of Florida. In this episode they will focus on house raids, fraudulent transfer actions against spouses and children and examples of piercing the Florida Homestead Act.

Researching Fraud and Recovering Your Money – The Processes

September 25, 2019
Hosted by Joe H. Dickerson
Without years of experience and knowledge of how people can hide assets, it is possible for you to be tricked into believing that the debtor does not have assets to pay your judgment. Financial Forensic Services can legally locate and document bank accounts, money market accounts, stocks, securities, real estate, cars, boats, airplanes and more. Judgment debtors often divert assets using corporations, limited partnerships, limited liability companies, trusts and insiders. Do not be fooled by these schemes and scams to hide money and assets. This week Joe Dickerson talks with special guest Gene Ferraro about fraud – “Any crime for gain that uses deception as it’s principal Modus Operandi,” normal research/investigative processes, evidence to win a judgment and enforcing your judgment.

Enforcing Your U.S. Judgment In International Jurisdictions

September 18, 2019
Hosted by Joe H. Dickerson

Financial Forensic Services investigators can track entities and their assets nationally and globally if necessary. Using our modern techniques, decades of experience and international network of fellow professionals we will show you the probable extent of any recoverable assets. Collecting a civil judgment isn’t as easy as you think. The process of collecting a judgment can be time-consuming and an extremely emotional process. This week Joe Dickerson speaks with special guest Christopher Redmond, founder and principal at the Redmond Law Firm, LLC. His practice is focused on complex international litigation, asset tracing and recovery, and cross-border insolvency proceedings. Listen and learn why you need experienced professionals to help you enforce your judgment. Understand the fundamental international rules of judgment enforcement, traps to be aware of, obtaining evidence in the U.S. for offshore recovery, mutual legal assistance request and special case studies.

How to Overcome Natural Fear and Anxiety of Testifying in Court

September 11, 2019
Hosted by Joe H. Dickerson

[Download MP3] [itunes] [Bookmark Episode]

Guest Information

Gene Ferraro

Episode Description

1. The fundamentals of U.S. court systems and brief discussion of the parties (judge, bailiff, court reporter, jury, plaintiff/defendant counsel or prosecutor/defendant; 2. Common law courts (U.S. system) vs. civil law courts (the system of Great Britain) 3. Types of witnesses and compensation (if available) 4. Preparation 5. Common questions asked 6. Trick questions 7. The best answers 8. Funniest witness responses 9. How to become an expert witness

ROW YOUR OWN CANOE (To Get Your Judgment Enforced Efficiently)

By: Joe H. Dickerson

You’ve won a significant civil case and have been awarded a significant amount of money by the court and it’s been months, or perhaps years, you have paid your attorneys a lot of money and you have never recovered a single dollar, you look in the mirror every day and ask yourself, “What am I doing wrong?”

I would suggest to you that you’re probably not doing anything wrong. You are, in all likelihood, just not doing most of the right things to get the job done correctly. Don’t be too hard on yourself – because 80% of the people or businesses that win judgments in the United States never get their money.

That’s right – 80% of the judgments entered in the US are never enforced or collected.

There are many reasons and even more excuses for this sad and unnecessary fact. It’s not your fault – that’s not the business you are in – but it’s your responsibility to Row Your Own Canoe, and you don’t have to do it yourself. It’s much like owning your own yacht – in all probability, you are not the captain of your yacht. You hire a qualified expert – A seasoned expert to be your captain and he hires managers and supervisors, the crew that all work together to get you safely to your destination.

Unless you are in the business of buying and collecting your own judgments, you do not need a yacht or a captain. Even if your fishing for trophies you will probably do just fine with a reasonable sized fishing boat or canoe.

When I say, “Row Your Own Canoe”, I am of course speaking metaphorically. You must take the responsibility as the owner of the judgment, to see that either you or your trusted consultant and advisor, take charge and ensure that the right team of judgment enforcement experts are on the team and managed properly. The team should consist of: a Financial Forensic Research Expert; perhaps a Digital Forensic Expert; perhaps a Forensic Accountant; and an experienced, aggressive, no non-sense attorney.

Let’s quickly review the major reasons that 80% of the judgments in the US are never enforced:

  1. Only three of the top 50 law schools ever mention judgment enforcement – those three, according to the Dean of the Law School, discuss judgment enforcement for two or three hours in their Creditor’s Rights course.
  2. Typically, attorneys want to keep on doing what they’ve always done and then they keep on getting what they’ve always got – 80% failure.
    A. They subpoena the debtor to a deposition and require him, via subpoena, to bring all his financial records, bank statements, brokerage account records, etc. They are surprised when the debtor does not comply – but they do little, if anything, to force compliance.
    B. They seldom, if ever, checking to verify the lies told by the debtor under oath.
    C. They act as they actually believe the debtor or his attorney when promises are made to locate and supply the wiring documents.
  3. They continue to bill the client and usually want to repeat the two above.

Surprise, they fail 80% of the time but they got lots of billable hours.

The other 20% of attorneys who work judgment enforcement cases do anywhere from an acceptable to an outstanding job for their clients.