In an ideal world, once a court has awarded a judgment, the judgment debtor would remit payment of the judgment amount plus any accrued interest, the judgment creditor or its counsel would file a satisfaction of judgment, and everyone would move on with life. Unfortunately, in many (if not most) instances, the rendering of a judgment represents the starting point of the true battle for satisfaction of an existing debt. In those instances where a judgment debtor is unwilling (or unable) to immediately satisfy the judgment, the first step should be to undertake a cost-benefit analysis so that the judgment creditor may be adequately apprised of the risks and rewards of pursuing (aggressively or otherwise) judgment enforcement.
Diving headlong into judgment enforcement without first developing a strategy is more often than not a recipe for prolonged frustration and exorbitant expense. At the end of the day, it is important to remember that the goal of judgment enforcement is to achieve the greatest possible recovery, without incurring excessive costs in doing so. To that end, it is prudent to spend some time at the outset assessing the extent and availability of the judgment debtor’s assets, and determining what judgment enforcement tools will be most effective and efficient in collecting available assets of the judgment debtor.
- Jordan S. Bolton
Clark Hill PLC