Judgement Recovery Business Idea
One of the many sources I use to learn about potential small business ideas is the Business Opportunities Handbook. In the Summer 2010 edition there was an interesting small business showcased that caught my eye: a judgement recovery business.
Most of us have probably seen at least one of the popular court TV shows (i.e. People’s Court, Judge Judy, etc). Once the judge hears both sides of the case, he or she rules in favor of the plaintiff or defendant. More often than not, this ruling also comes with a financial judgement.
I never really thought about it too much but how does the winning party get paid? What controls are in place to ensure the judgement is paid? After reading the overview article, I was surprised to find out that there aren’t really any controls in place to ensure payment. But this is where the judgement recovery business comes in.
Judgement Recovery Business Overview
To risk taking the glaze off of this business idea, it’s essentially a debt collector. In the case of judgement recovery services, the debts collected are unpaid judgements from a previously decided lawsuit.
While most of the small claims television shows you’ve seen deal with people, the sweet spot of the judgement collector is business. Typically the awards will be higher and it’s likely much easier and more profitable to find businesses as customers than it is to market your judgement recovery services to people.
To get started in a judgement recovery business, the first step is to contact as many business as possible in your area to explain your services and see if they need your help. Chances are, several businesses will. Much like a bad debt expense, many businesses have simply given up with their judgement collection and filed it away. This is where your judgement recovery services come in.
Since civil case files are public information, you can find many of your customers by accessing public court records.
Again, similar to debt collection, your business works for a percentage of the judgement collected. If you work on a 50/50 split, this means that if you collect on a $10,000 settlement, your business makes $5,000 less your expenses.
Vinnie The Judgement Collector
Many of you are probably thinking, “I hate confrontation…I wouldn’t be good at chasing people down so they pay“. The good news is that you don’t have to break any proverbial knees in this business. Your work is behind the scenes and pretty much non-confrontational.
Most, if not all, of your work will be done behind the scenes using the court system to seize debtor bank accounts, garnish income, place property liens and the like. These processes aren’t easy to understand at first so you’ll need to study and become very comfortable with local civil codes.
Although no successful business is easy to start and run, the hard part about the judgement recovery business seems to be understanding and navigating the civil code and collection process. This is where a seasoned professional who is already in the business can certainly help.
Going back to how I learned about this business idea, the article I read showcased a woman by the name of Christina Smiley who started Sierra Judgement Recovery. With 10 years of hands-on practice under her belt, she can certainly be considered a pro in this field.
If you’re interested in learning more about the judgement recovery business and possibly even get started in it, go and check out Christina’s site at Sierra Judgement Recovery. She offers a free judgement recovery startup guide as well as both an electronic and hard-copy judgement recovery course you can purchase.