Have you been trying to assign your small claim judgment, but all the judgment enforcement professionals you contact keep turning it down?
Here are some reasons why:
They did a preliminary investigation of your debtor and determined the judgment may be uncollectible. Maybe the debtor moved to another state, like Arizona, which has prohibitive laws making enforcement of judgments from California almost impossible and not worth the effort. Maybe the debtor is retired, living on Social Security (SS). There are laws against garnishing SS benefits as well as government pensions. Maybe the debtor has an unstable life and work history, no assets, and a string of low income and/or under-the-table jobs that would be difficult and time-consuming to collect from.
They looked at the court file and determined there’s a possibility the judgment could be vacated. Maybe the debtor didn’t show up for the court date, and genuinely did not get notice of the case. There are many reasons this could happen and judgment professionals will see the red flags on the “proof of service” form in the court file. Maybe you sued the wrong entity, or used the wrong name for the defendant. This happens sometimes when suing businesses and can hinder the judgment enforcement process.
Finally, the judgment may be too low for consideration. Many professionals don’t bother with anything under $10,000, let alone under $5,000. But I do! I consider judgments as low as $3,000, as long as they’re in San Francisco or San Mateo county courts. Send me an email with your court case number and I’ll take a look.
If you have a judgment under $3,000 and believe it can indeed be collected, reconsider trying to do it yourself. There are a some good judgment enforcement resources out there to help you.
Remember, judgments don’t expire until after 10 years and can be renewed any time before that with accumulated interest, so you have lots of time.