First, bank on the future by creating liens. An important step in any collection plan is to establish liens (legal claims) against the judgment debtor’s real estate and business property. Liens put you in the best position to get paid if the debtor declares bankruptcy or acquires, sells, refinances or transfers property.
Second, do your homework. The more you know about the business or person who owes you money, the more likely you are to get paid. So here’s your opportunity to be a private detective of sorts, and keep tabs on the debtor’s assets, lifestyle and projected financial situation.
Here’s a little test. Would you know if the debtor moved, expanded or sold a business, or refinanced real estate? Do you know whether or not the debtor cares about their credit rating? Do you know what could pressure the debtor into bankruptcy? If you can’t answer yes to every one of these questions, you’ve got work to do. Periodically write or telephone the person who owes you money.
And third, know when to call it quits. You’ve heard the warning, “Don’t throw good money after bad”. There is much you can do to collect on a judgment, but these efforts cost money. And although most judgment collection costs are recoverable, that won’t do you any good if you never catch up with the judgment debtor. So keep a sharp eye on how much you are spending on your attempts to collect accounts receivables.