There are seven critical mistakes judgment creditors make when attempting to collect their judgment. We’ll be discussing each mistake in detail… and how to correct it. Last week, we covered mistake #4: Not Understanding That the Court Does Not Make The Judgement Debtor Pay The Judgement. Now, let’s identify the problem we are dealing with this week.
MISTAKE #5: WASTING SIGNIFICANT MONEY ATTEMPTING TO COLLECT FROM A JUDGMENT DEBTOR THAT “HAS NO ASSETS”
Even if all the facts are on your side, regardless of how much you may have been embezzled out of or how much you may have been awarded in the contract dispute, it is usually of little consequence if you win a significant judgment if your debtor truly has no assets and no prospects of having significant assets in the future.
Prior to filing a complaint, an astute plaintiff and her attorney will obtain a financial forensic viability report to determine if the target has sufficient assets that can be reached to satisfy the claim, should a judgment be entered. Should it be determined that your target actually has no assets, you can save yourself untold heartache, time and money chasing a debtor that has no money to satisfy your judgment. You need NOT be in the 80% who never collect their judgment. If adequate assets are located, the plaintiff can proceed comfortably knowing that there appears to be sufficient assets to justify the litigation. Should these assets dissipate prior to recovery, you often have a good basis to initiate a fraudulent transfer investigation.
An investment in the financial forensic viability research and report, and consulting with experienced experts is always wise. When you obtain your judgment, you have a great start for the more in-depth financial forensic research to locate and document assets to execute upon toward the satisfaction of your judgment. Knowing what types of assets are available for recovery helps in deciding which post judgment commercial collection attorney you need to retain. The assets located in the preliminary research may be anywhere in the world so you may need help in Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, The Isle of Mann, the Virgin Islands, or Texas and Florida. You must have the right forensic research and enforcement team with the right contacts, skills and experience to be successful. You may need experience with oil and gas cases, commercial real estate, or securities. From the preliminary financial forensic report, you will be able to assemble the right team of experts to get the job done properly and as efficiently as possible.
You must recognize that the truly sophisticated debtor is well-positioned to appear to have no assets. They may have entities domiciled in Nevada, Wyoming and in offshore asset protection havens. These entities will be controlled by nominee officers, directors, and/or trustees of irrevocable offshore asset protection trusts. Getting past these professional gatekeepers is not a task to be taken lightly, but it can be done.
Your professional asset recovery and competitive intelligence team are equipped to locate, document, and work in tandem with a carefully selected, highly skilled and specialized attorneys to recover these deeply buried assets. Investing money to locate assets for recovery is NOT THE MISTAKE. THE REAL MISTAKE IS NOT ENSURING YOU ARE INVESTING WITH THE TRULY SEASONED EXPERTS WHO HAVE A TRACK RECORD OF LOCATING AND RECOVERING THE ASSET THAT EVERYONE KNOWS THE DEBTOR “DOES NOT HAVE.”
You don’t go to your family doctor for heart bypass surgery—you get the best heart specialist money can buy. Use the same good judgment when your financial life is at stake—do your due diligence and engage only the best team of experts you can find to recover your money.