Article I: Responsibilities
In carrying out their responsibilities as professionals, individuals should
exercise sensitive professional and moral judgments in all their activities.
Judgment recovery professionals perform an essential role in society. Consistent with that role, they have responsibilities to all those who utilize their services. Professionals also have a continuing responsibility to cooperate with each other to improve the business of judgment recovery, maintain the public's confidence, and carry out the profession's special responsibilities for self-governance. The collective efforts of all professionals are required to maintain and enhance the traditions of the profession.
Article II: The Public Interest
Judgment recovery professionals should accept the obligation
to perform in a way that will serve the public interest, honor the
public trust, and demonstrate commitment to professionalism.
1) A distinguishing mark of any profession is acceptance of its responsibility to the public. The judgment recovery profession's public consists of judgment creditors, judgment debtors, the court system, the legal profession, and others who rely on the objectivity and integrity of judgment recovery professionals. This reliance imposes a public interest responsibility on judgment recovery professionals. The public interest is defined as the collective well-being of the community of people and institutions the profession serves.
2) In discharging their professional responsibilities, judgment recovery professionals may encounter conflicting pressures from among each of those groups. In resolving those conflicts, the judgment recovery professional should act with integrity, guided by the precept that when individuals fulfill their responsibility to the public, everyone's interests are best served.
3) Those who rely on judgment recovery professionals expect them to discharge their responsibilities with integrity, objectivity, due professional care, and a genuine interest in serving the public -- all in a manner that demonstrates a level of professionalism consistent with these Principles of the Code of Ethics.
4) Judgment recovery professionals commit themselves to honor the public trust. In return for the faith that the public reposes in them, judgment recovery professionals should seek continually to demonstrate their dedication to professional excellence.
Article III: Integrity
To maintain and broaden public confidence,
judgment recovery professionals should perform
all responsibilities with the highest sense of integrity.
1) Integrity is an element of character fundamental to professional recognition. It is the quality from which the public trust derives and the benchmark against which a judgment recovery professional must ultimately test all decisions.
2) Integrity requires the individual to be, among other things, honest and candid within the constraints of professional confidentiality. Service and the public trust should not be subordinated to personal gain and advantage. Integrity can accommodate the inadvertent error and the honest difference of opinion; it cannot accommodate deceit or subordination of principle.
3) Integrity is measured in terms of what is right and just. In the absence of specific rules, standards, or guidance, or in the face of conflicting opinions, the individual should test decisions and deeds by asking: "Am I doing what a person of integrity would do? have I retained my integrity?" Integrity requires the individual to observe both the form and the spirit of technical and ethical standards; circumvention of those standards constitutes subordination of judgment.
4) Integrity also requires a judgment recovery professional to observe the principles of objectivity and independence and of due care.
Article IV: Due Care
A judgment recovery professional should observe the
profession's technical and ethical standards, strive continually
to improve competence and the quality of services, and discharge
professional responsibility to the best of his or her ability.
1) The quest for excellence is the essence of due care. Due care requires the judgment recovery professional to discharge professional responsibilities with competence and diligence. It imposes the obligation to perform professional services to the best of the individual's ability with concern for the best interest of those for whom the services are performed and consistent with the profession's responsibility to the public.
2) Competence is derived from a synthesis of education and experience. It begins with a mastery of the common body of knowledge required for designation as a judgment recovery professional. The maintenance of competence requires a commitment to learning and professional improvement that must continue throughout the individual's professional life. It is a judgment recovery professional's individual responsibility. In all engagements and in all responsibilities, each individual should undertake to achieve a level of competence that will assure that the quality of their services meet the high level of professionalism required by these Principles.
3) Competence represents the attainment and maintenance of a level of understanding and knowledge that enables the judgment recovery professional to render services with facility and acumen. It also establishes the limitations of the individual's capabilities by dictating that consultation or referral may be required when a professional engagement exceeds the personal competence of the individual. Every judgment recovery professional is responsible for assessing his or her own competence - of evaluating whether education, experience, and judgment are adequate for the responsibility to be assumed.
4) Judgment recovery professionals should be diligent in discharging responsibilities to the public. Diligence imposes the responsibility to render services promptly and carefully, to be thorough, and to observe applicable technical and ethical standards.
5) Due care requires the individual to plan and supervise adequately any professional activity for which he or she is responsible.
Article V: Scope and Nature of services
A judgment recovery professional should observe
the Principles of the Code of Professional Ethics in
determining the scope and nature of services to be provided.
1) The public interest aspect of the judgment recovery professionals' services requires that such services be consistent with acceptable professional behavior. Integrity requires that service and the public trust not be subordinated to personal gain and advantage. objectivity and independence require that the individual be free from conflicts of interest in discharging professional responsibilities. Due care requires that services be provided with competence and diligence.
2) Each of these Principles should be considered by the judgment recovery professional in determining whether or not to provide specific services in individual circumstances. No hard-and-fast rules can be developed to help the individual reach these judgments, but the individual must be satisfied that they are meeting the spirit of the Principles in this regard. In order to accomplish this, judgment recovery professionals should assess, in their individual judgments, whether an activity is consistent with their role as professionals.
Article VI: Pledge
All judgment recovery professionals freely subscribe to
the following pledge without prejudice or reservation.
In the execution of my professional responsibilities, I will:
- Conduct my business in a professional and ethical manner.
- Comply with all city, county, state, and federal laws.
- Respond promptly to all correspondence from all parties involved in my purchased judgments.
- Immediately return ownership of all judgments to the original judgment creditor should I terminate my business.
- Stay abreast of changes within the industry.
- Maintain confidentiality with respect to agreements with the original judgment creditor.
- Continue to educate myself with respect to the legal processes involved in judgment recovery.
- Assist other judgment recovery professionals through the sharing of my knowledge.
- Not use harassing tactics in the process of recovery of any judgment.
- Not render legal advice in any form or fashion, or give the appearance of rendering legal advice.
- Not engage in unfair business practices in regard to the public or other judgment recovery professionals.