Monday, May 10, 2010

They told you they were a Judgment Enforcement Agency?

There are several web sites calling themselves as a national judgment enforcement agency.

There is nothing wrong with having a web site with a name resembling "Judgment Enforcement Agency". However,it is important to understand that most web sites that say or imply this, are not actually national judgment enforcement agencies.

Both lawyers and collection agencies, can enforce judgments for you. Post judgment lawyers get paid by the hour. Judgment enforcers get paid only for success. Judgment enforcers must become the legal owner of your Judgment, before they enforce your judgment for you.

Judgment enforcers have to buy your judgment - and become the new owner. Judgment enforcers must be assigned (transfer ownership of) your judgment in its entirety. Such an assignment must be notarized and endorsed by the Court.

Some States are requiring, or trying to require judgment enforcers to become collection agencies.

Even when a (non-lawyer) judgment enforcer has a team or office with more than one person, in most States and situations, only one person can sign Court documents, appear in Court, and be the legal enforcer of a judgment. In most States, a corporation, LLC, or partnership cannot represent itself in civil Court.

In most States and situations, judgment enforcers have to appear in Court as a person, not a company. Even sole judgment enforcers are not really alone. Most do a lot of outsourcing with marketing, private investigators, process servers, other judgment enforcers, and lawyers.

If one calls themselves a collection agency or a judgment enforcement agency, they must abide by all local and State laws regulating a collection agency in every location they work in.

Some States require everyone owning or working at the collection agency to meet strict State requirements, such as bonding and background checks, and have (and maintain) a certain amount of financial net worth.

Anyone meeting the local and State requirements can be a collection or a judgment enforcement agency without being an attorney. Ironically, most States exempt lawyers from having to become a collection agency.

State laws sometimes control judgment enforcement agencies even when an attorney runs them. As an example, Florida requires an attorney to become a collection agency if the majority of the firm's caseload involves collections. Interestingly, attorneys and law firms have recently been sued by state Attorney Generals for FDCPA violations, and infractions.

So, if a web site or a person tells you that they are a Judgment Enforcement Agency, ask them if they, and all their advertised agents meet all State and local laws.
About the Author

Mark D. Shapiro - - Judgment Enforcement Catalyst. V: 888-831-4350, Fax: 206-267-9857. - is a must-read for anyone involved with Judgments.

by Mark Shapiro


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