TAKE FROM A MAN THAT WHICH HE CHERISHES AND HE WILL FOLLOW YOUR WAYS (DESIRES)
FROM THE ART OF WAR BY SUN TZU
It proves to be time year after year, case after case, if you do in fact take from a person, using the legal process, they in fact will usually agree to a significant settlement, often being 100% of the judgment against them. You first take what is near and dear to them and then convince them you have just begun. I often explain to the debtor that they need to understand that I am their new business partner and that I will continue to take their assets plus part of every dollar they make for the rest of their life, or until my client is paid in full, plus costs, legal fees, and on-going interest on the balance due.
Obviously, then the first thing we want to do in a judgment enforcement case is to find out what any judgment debtor cherishes, what is near and dear to his heart, so we can immediately take it and get his undivided attention. There is really no sophisticated legal techniques needed here, no magic, no specific skills needed – just applying what most all of us know from our everyday life experiences. Ill share with you here a series of my favorites that everyone seems to overlook.
Many of us are purchasing a home, have purchased a home, or at least know and understand the basics of how the process works. If you have a mortgage, you are making monthly payments. Those payments consist of four things: PITI. Of course, P and I refer to principal and interest payments. The T and I are the taxes and insurance. The lender collects and pays the taxes and insurance to protect their interest in the collateral (the home you are buying). They collect and pay the taxes so they do not risk losing the home to a tax sale because they failed to pay their real estate taxes. Likewise, they collect and pay the insurance premium so if the house burns down they get their money.
If you own valuable personal property, such as jewelry, art work, guns, collectables like rare coins, stamps, etc., furs, trophies, and so forth, those valuable will not be found in any public records research. They will be scheduled on an attachment to your homeowners insurance policy.
Therefore, the first subpoena goes to the mortgage company for the name and address of the insurance company they are escrowing for and paying, along with the policy number. The next subpoena goes to the insurance company for a copy of the policy with all adamants and schedules thereto. You now have a list of all the exceptionally valuable personal property owned by your judgment debtor. No one pays insurance on a Rolex he does not own.
With this information, your attorney can now take this legally obtained evidence to the judge and obtain a Writ of Execution (or it’s equivalent) and with that the home can be raided and all listed assets can be taken. We always ask the attorney to also ask the court to grant authority to take all electronic communication devices, such as computer, iPads and cell phones, and do a forensic analysis thereof. We have never been turned down on this by a court. Remember, while legally in the home, the Sherriff can take all non-exempt assets to sell at the auction. Often, we just allow the debtor to buy his assets back for the total amount of the judment. With the information from the forensic analysis of the electronic devices, we often get a true blueprint of where in the world the debtor may be hiding his most valuable assets, which we normally recover.
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