What is a judgement? Wikipedia defines a judgement as:
If a judgement is made, it entitles one entity (a person or business) the right to collect the amount of the judgement from the other entity involved. The only problem is that the court doesn’t help you find the debtor or the debtor’s assets. This is a huge need, but there are few services available that perform this task. Al Schweitzer, from my understanding, is the “father” finding debtors and a debtor’s assets. I recently went to a meeting where he was speaking. I go to a lot of real estate meetings and entrepreneur meetings in general and I was surprised I hadn’t heard of this before. Here are a few facts that he gave out (note I have not been able to verify whether these are true or not).
1. 80% of judgements go uncollected
2. Courts award judgements in the US every 1.5 seconds.
3. Judgements can last 3-10 years
As a wanna be entrepreneur, I’m always looking for other potential ways of making money. Al went on to state that:
If you are owed money from a judgement, you can legally take all of the money from his/her account, garnish wages, place a lien and all without being a bill collector or attorney.
I thought this was absolutely fascinating. I must admit that part of the appeal is that because it almost sounds borderline “dangerous”. I will certainly follow up with an attorney and follow up with a future blog post.
Here were some of the websites given that allow you to find people who in many cases, don’t want to be found.
So, all of this sounds cool. How do people make money?
1. Find the debtor
2. Send letters and call if you do not hear from them after a week or two.
3. Ask them if they would be interested in settling their debts if you could cut their debt in half. Do they have the cash to settle the debt now?
4. Call the creditor.
5. Ask them if they would consider selling the judgement for $.20 – $.30 on the dollar.
6. Purchase the judgement.
7. Settle the judgment with the debtor and pocket between 20 to 30% of the value of the judgement.
All of this sounds relatively easy, but it usually is when people are trying to sell you something as Al was at the meeting.
There are some other uses with this knowledge:
1. If people have judgements against them, do you think they might be potentially facing foreclosure soon? This could be a way to find pre-foreclosures for real estate investors months before other people start mailing to them.
2. You could use these techniques of finding information on people to screen potential tenants.
3. Do a thorough background check on potential business partners.
4. Locate abandoned property owners.
5. Use judgements to reduce the price of the property you are trying to purchase.
In my opinion there is certainly a lot of value that Al has to offer. I’m pretty frugal so I was not willing to fork over the $500 for the tapes and CD’s or the like. It’s $279 and $767 respectively for his kit through his website, Courtcash.com. I do have a friend that purchased the kit, but he reported that it’s been on his bookshelf, untouched.
photo by Dbking
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