Some years ago, the American Bar Association estimated that approximately 80% of all judgments are never paid. Several studies have backed up that estimate. However, it would be interesting to track the number of unpaid judgments over the course of the next decade or so. Why? Because it is getting tougher to skip out when creditors refer their cases to experienced judgment collectors.
It could be that the majority of unpaid judgments never go to collection agencies. Creditors attempt to collect on their own, only to end up losing the waiting game. Judgment Collectors, a Utah debt collection agency that specializes in judgments, published a rather detailed post in 2021 discussing this very thing. That is why they recommend turning judgments over to professional collection agency right away.
They Have the Internet
Today’s judgment collectors have an advantage previous generations of collectors did not: the internet. Back before the public internet was a thing, debt collectors had to do a lot more legwork just to track down deadbeats. There was a lot more manual labor involved in discovering assets. With the internet, uncovering helpful information is faster and more efficient.
Having the internet at their disposal is the number one reason it is getting tougher to skip out on judgments. Professional debt collectors know how to find you online. They know how to take advantage of your online carelessness via social media and other platforms. The internet is a debt collector’s best friend.
Other Reasons to Pay
Internet access definitely gives judgment collectors a leg up. But there are other reasons to pay, instead of trying to skip out:
They Know the Law
Another big advantage collection agencies have is their knowledge of state law. Judgment Collectors practices in multiple states, including California. They know full well that California offers some tools other states do not. The Intangible Levy is just one example.
Unless you are a debtor with years of experience skipping out on your debts, chances are you don’t know the law as well as professional debt collectors. This means that you will ultimately and up losing.
They Utilize Skip Tracing
Professional judgment collectors have another advantage in a discipline known as skip tracing. In simple terms, skip tracing is a combination of strategies and resources debt collectors and private investigators can lean on to find people who don’t want to be found. Details are a tightly held secret for obvious reasons. Suffice it to say that a skilled skip tracer eventually catches up to the prey.
Along with your online activity, you also leave an electronic trail behind you just by conducting daily business. You use your cell phone. You pay your bills with credit cards. You buy and sell property. There isn’t much you can do in the 21st century that doesn’t produce some sort of searchable electronic record. Skip tracing takes advantage of that.
They Are Relentless
If all else works to your advantage, this final point does not: judgment collectors are relentless. They all have their reasons. Judgment Collectors, the previously mentioned Utah agency, works on a contingency model. That means they do not get paid if they don’t collect.
They have every motivation to be relentless. Judgment Collectors isn’t in the habit of giving a half-hearted effort and then not getting paid. They will do whatever it takes to make sure they get their paycheck.
It is true that the vast majority of judgments never get collected. But that’s only because creditors don’t get collection agencies involved. If a creditor has turned your case over to a skilled agency, you are going to have a tough time skipping out.