Editor’s note: All CFSA members receive an exclusive discount on collections services from our long-time partner company, CST Co. From time to time, we invite CST Co. to share some tips with our members. Here is a new article they just submitted for CFSA readers.
It’s hard to know whether or not to sue, as you try to collect your past-due accounts. The outcome of litigation is uncertain. When you are at the point of trying to decide whether or not to invest money for a lawsuit, there is only one thing of which you can be sure: If you don’t take the risk and proceed, you will not be paid, or have any chance for recovery.
In many cases, recoveries can be made through litigation. In others, no recovery can be made at all. After all post-judgment remedies have been exhausted, it’s sometimes the case that the debtor simply has no attachable assets out of which the judgment can be satisfied. The debtor is in effect, “judgment proof”.
Does this mean that your investment of time and money for suit was a total waste? Not always! Just because a judgment is uncollectible now, does not mean that it will always be uncollectible. Circumstances can improve over time, especially if your debtor is an individual. They may land a high-paying job after their business closes, or they might start up another business that will be very successful. Or, they could inherit a sum of money, or even win money through the Lottery (don’t laugh–-we have seen it happen!).
Judgments are valid for a number of years, and this varies from state to state. Some people may eventually try to clear up older debts (especially judgments) to improve their credit history. More commonly, since judgment liens attach to real estate, a debtor may find that they cannot refinance or sell their property without first dealing with your judgment.
Every collection account has its own merits, and not all cases should be sued. However, filing suit and obtaining a judgment not only gives you a fighting chance of collecting now, but may also provide an opportunity to collect in the future. This is especially true when dealing with sole proprietors, partnerships of individuals, and personal guarantors.
If you have any questions about this topic, or any other collection matter, contact long-time CFSA Affiliate, CST Co. We offer a significant discount to members, and an extended Free Demand period. Call today: 800-626-5873, or visit www.cstcoinc.com.