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This article was published by the Wall Street Journal 'Center for Entrepreneurs' in May, 2001. It specifically names National Judgment Network as a national resource for individuals involved in the business of judgment recovery.


Wall Street Journal

Question: Do you know anything about the judgment-recovery business? From everything I've heard, it sounds too good to be true. Is it for real or is this just another spam scam?
-- Eddie, Seattle

Eddie: The judicial judgment-recovery business does, indeed, seem to be too good to be true. It first came to national attention when Business Start Up magazine identified it as a "shoestring start-up" that requires less than $3,000 in initial capital.

It is a growing field that appeals to many people because it has the potential to generate excellent financial rewards while providing a valuable service to society. Add to that the fact that it is primarily computer-based work that can be performed at home and you have a very appealing combination.

The goal of the business is to collect previously un-collectible court judgments for a percentage of the return. Finding these uncollected judgments is the easy part, since they are a matter of public record and are easily accessible through county courthouses. Consumer and commercial debt collection is often the most lucrative. While some are small-claim judgments for a few hundred dollars, others are civil judgments amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Interestingly, only about 20% of these judgments are ever paid. That means that 80% of all court-awarded judgments go uncollected. In part, this occurs because the court doesn't enforce collection. It's up to the judgment winner to get his or her money. Meanwhile, debtors often look for ways to avoid payment. They may change residences, states and even names to avoid detection. Some try to hide their assets. Enter the judicial judgment-recovery specialist, who will track down the errant debtor, ferret out his or her hidden assets, and recover the money owed.

There are a number of professional membership organizations devoted to developing standards, resources and training in this area, including the Judgment Recovery Network and the National Judgment Network.

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