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
If you have questions, comments to share, or would like a copy of my book
“Diagnostic & Prescriptive Judgment Enforcement – The New Model for Judgment Enforcement”
Be sure to watch for our next blog!