Obtaining Judgments

Obtaining a judgment is the first step in getting back money owed to you. However, a judgment may not be entered by the court until you file a lawsuit against the debtor and the debtor either fails to respond or you win the lawsuit. In many debt collection cases, the defendant does not dispute the amount owed or does not want to fight the case. Thus, obtaining a judgment against the debtor is most often not difficult.

What does a judgment do for me?

Many clients are unaware that once you obtain a judgment against the debtor your judgment bears interest at the legal rate for up to 10 years and is renewable for another 10 years. For example, assume you obtain a $10,000 judgment and the legal rate is 10%. If you do not collect right away, your judgment would be $11,000 after the first year; $12,000 after the second… to the point that after ten years the debt has doubled to $20,000. Thus, as you can see, the interest is not an insubstantial amount and would allow you to recoup fees and costs otherwise incurred.

Should you decide to pursue the debt collection process immediately, we have the ability locate assets and debtors and in many to conduct one or more of the appropriate methods of debt collections: bank levy, wage garnishment, seizure levy and sale of assets, writ of attachment, writ of possession, receiverships, judgment liens, temporary protective orders and much more.

What else should I consider?

There are a number of other considerations to keep in mind in deciding whether or not you want to file a debt collections lawsuit against the debtor. One of the most relevant questions you must consider is the cost benefit analysis of the lawsuit. While the vast majority of debt collections lawsuits never go to trial (in fact, most go directly to default judgment), the cost of filing the lawsuit, in addition to attorney fees, is something to be considered.

To help keep down your costs, there are a number of different options available for you in pursuing your debt.  In some cases, the attorneys' fees and costs of both the lawsuit and the debt collection process are recoverable by statute.  In other cases, Ogden Law Firm, PC may take your case on a contingency basis, costing you nothing in attorney fees and court costs until the judgment is enforced and the debt is recovered. Moreover, if you prefer to pursue collection of your judgment on an hourly basis, we will also strive to keep your costs at a minimum.

Another consideration in filing a lawsuit to obtain a judgment is whether or not the debtor is going to dispute the lawsuit. As stated earlier, the vast majority of debtors do not want to fight the lawsuit simply because they owe the money and there are not many defensible positions they could take. However, if they do want to oppose the suit, we are experienced debt collection attorneys in Modesto and we have the ability navigate the complex web of procedures and requirements to fight for you and your rights should your debtor oppose your debt collection action.

You would also certainly want to consider whether your debtor has assets or whether they are judgment proof (i.e. insolvent). Is your debtor going to file bankruptcy or is your debtor only threatening bankruptcy to get you off their back? An experienced attorney from Ogden Law Firm, PC can help you through this process in determining whether a debt collections lawsuit would be a preferable route.

If you need an experienced commercial debt collection attorney to guide you through the process, contact us today and we would be glad to assist you.