Winning a civil judgment brings an end to litigation. But it also marks the start of a collection process that could be time-consuming and more expensive than a creditor has planned for. Knowing this in advance, some creditors decide to bring in a judgment collection agency from the very start. Experience should be a priority when selecting an agency.
Whether they call themselves collection agencies, judgment recovery specialists, or something else entirely, agencies specializing in judgments must have a certain amount of skill, knowledge, and resources to actually succeed. Resources are easy enough to obtain on day one. But skill and knowledge often come from experience.
The Home-Based Startup
The broader debt collection industry has its fair share of home-based startups. These are small businesses started by individuals looking to work from home. There is nothing wrong with this, by the way. Every collection agency, whether it specializes in judgments or not, needs to start somewhere. But a home-based startup lacks the experience a collection agency needs to prevail against uncooperative judgment debtors who know how to avoid paying.
The thing about judgments is that debtors rarely offer their full cooperation to get things paid. The mere fact that a debtor needs to be taken to court suggests a lack of cooperation down the road. That leaves the creditor and its collection agency with no other choice but to use every means possible to encourage cooperation. Doing so effectively goes back to that knowledge, skill, and experience.
Practice Makes Perfect
Judgment Collectors is a specialized judgment collection agency who works in several states like Washington, California and Utah. They work for clients in 11 states. They say that one of the tools they use to track down uncooperative debtors is skip tracing.
You have undoubtedly heard the phrase ‘practice makes perfect’. It is very applicable to the skip tracing principle. Skip tracing is a combination of tools and strategies designed to help locate people trying hard to not be found. They have skipped town, and the collection agency or private investigator is trying to trace them.
Though there are courses one can take in skip tracing, most of what a person learns about it is learned by actually doing it. A successful skip tracer learns on-the-job over a certain amount of time. This is good. Why? Because experience is the best teacher. Experience does a far better job than textbooks and written exams.
Experience Creates an Advantage
A home-based startup whose experience is limited to just a few cases has barely gotten its feet wet. And that being the case, every debtor the agency is pursuing already has an advantage. The only way to combat that advantage is to gain more experience. The more cases an agency pursues, the more experience it gains. And with experience comes advantage.
Experience actually builds an advantage by giving a collection agency the opportunity to apply all the knowledge gleaned from previous cases to the current case. And because every case is also a learning experience, applying previously gained knowledge makes each subsequent case easier to pursue.
As a side note, the experience issue also creates a conundrum. A collection agency cannot perform well without experience, but it can’t get experience if it doesn’t take cases. A good solution is to start out with non-judgment debts first. After they are mastered, a collection agency can move on to more complicated judgments.
As a creditor, none of that matters to you. What matters is getting paid. So if that’s the goal, choose a collection agency with proven experience in the judgment arena.