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Author: Mark Shapiro

Mr. Bill Fason, once wisely wrote: "Most creditors (if they are not professional finance people) at first look upon their money judgments as if they had found a Golden Ticket to visit Willy Wonka's factory".

"Eventually, the cold harsh reality sets in as they discover that their bad paper has a street value somewhere between Confederate war bonds and broken eight track tape players".

Everyone who wins a court judgment eventually has to smell the coffee.

Congratulations, you spent time and money to win a court judgment. The judge ordered and signed a judgment that the debtor has to pay you, and you get interest while you wait. Oh boy!

The debtor did not pay you yet. The Judgment does not say you will get paid. Oh no!

The court clerks can't give you legal advice, and the court cannot help you collect money from your debtor. Oh no!

You know someone will buy your judgment for cash. You might have to interview many people. You send a copy of your judgment to many people, and the most anyone is willing to pay for your judgment is a few cents on the dollar. Oh no!

You keep searching the internet and find lots of "contingency" judgment buyers. They will pay you 50% of what they recover, but nothing up front. They can't say when or if you will be paid.

This is what most judgment owners experience. The problem is laws are stacked in the debtor's favor. It's much harder, and more expensive to collect judgments, than it should be. The economy makes it even harder to collect.

So, how do you get the debtor to pay you, like the judge ordered them to do? Here are the ways:

1) Try and settle with the debtor. See if they will pay you half (or more) of what they owe. If they won't pay you, you will most likely have to pay 50% to someone, to force or convince the debtor to pay. Of course, most debtors won't actually pay you. If they were going to voluntarily pay you, you would not have had to sue them.

2) Try to enforce your own judgment. You will need to read a lot. You also must have your checkbook ready, as you must pay courts and sheriffs. You also may have to pay process servers, lawyers, private investigators, or detective web sites. And results are not guaranteed. The time and money you spend, may not result in getting you money.

3) Search for someone to buy your judgment for cash. Unless your debtor is wealthy, don't expect more than a few pennies on the dollar. Trying to find people who buy judgments for cash can waste a lot of time. Web sites that say "we buy judgments" can give false hope. Phrases like "up to 20%" are only for a very few judgments. Most judgments are sold for cash at 1-3 cents on the dollar.

4) Try an auction, but not Ebay. Ebay is silent on the subject of selling judgments. Selling judgments at auctions is fairly new to the web. There are at least two web sites, including mine, that have this feature. One such site, which I am not affiliated with, is at

The problem with online judgment auction sites is the opening bids are set too high. Bidding works best when the starting price is set low. To get bidding active on online judgments auctions, opening bid prices should be set to 1% of the face value of the judgment.

Do what most people do, assign your judgment to a judgment enforcer. Find a contingency Judgment Enforcement buyer. There are thousands of them, most are easy to find on the net. One directory (I am not affiliated with them) is

About the author: Mark D. Shapiro,

V:888-831-4350, Fax: 206-267-9857

The FAQ at is updated often and has useful information for anyone involved with Judgments.

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