Judgment Recovery through post-judgment enforcement requires knowing the relevant laws, regulations, and procedures; understanding the Judgment Debtor and their Assets; determining when to fight and when to settle; and the tenacity and discipline to see it all the way through.
Post-judgment enforcement is an area of the law often overlooked. So much time and effort are put into getting a Judgment and pursuing it like an end goal that many do not even consider the possibility that it is not the end. Successfully enforcing a Judgment and navigating Supplemental Proceedings requires knowledge and experience unique to the realm after a Judgment is entered, and going in underprepared or overconfident can be a recipe for disaster. Before trying to enforce a judgment, make sure to learn how to navigate what lies ahead – and the best way is with an experienced guide.
It is always important to research and understand the Judgment Debtor(s) and their Assets. Single pieces of information about the Debtor can immediately render the entire endeavor useless. Ensure that the debtor is not deceased and check for bankruptcy records (ongoing and recent). The Judgment Debtor may also have other Judgments entered against them, making collection much more difficult and potentially less lucrative. Understanding the assets and how they are held matters for recovery. A Debtor with a high income is not automatically easy to collect from in South Carolina, and some assets are partially or completely exempt from Judgment recovery efforts. Knowing who owns the assets and how or when they obtained them can affect recovery as well.
Throughout the recovery process, it is important to have the right mindset about what you are doing. Recovering on a Judgment should be about obtaining the money rightfully owed, and it is recommended to be wary vengeance or greed getting the better of you. In most circumstances, taking the time to talk with Judgment Debtors and coming to a mutual agreement leads to reduced costs, higher chances of recovery, and less time wasted. Stepping back and evaluating when it makes sense to settle is key to successful recovery.
While few and far between, there are certainly times where the best way to recover involves fighting tooth and nail to the bitter end. Having the ability and tenacity to follow through is necessary to be successful, especially for the Judgment Debtor to see. Backing up claims and not backing down can increase recovery, whether by enabling you to reach the end of a legal battle or by helping bring about a settlement.