Why Post-Judgment Interrogatories Matter So Much

Judgment Collectors

When a civil judgment involves some sort of monetary award, one of the first post-judgment tasks is conducting interrogatories. The dirty little secret about interrogatories is that they are critical to everything that follows. One could argue that they are the most important legal step between winning and judgment and getting paid. If they do not go well for the judgment creditor, collecting could be difficult.

A Basic Description

‘Interrogatories’ is a fancy legal term describing the process of gleaning information from the losing party, also known as the judgment debtor. The judgment creditor wants to know about the debtor’s employment, income, and assets. Why? Because they will determine how collection efforts proceed.

Ideally, it would be best if the debtor had enough cash on hand to pay the judgment in full. But such is rarely the case. Therefore, the next best thing is to pursue collection based on the debtor’s income and assets.

In most states, debtors are required to comply with interrogatories in a timely manner. Creditors submit questions through their attorneys; debtors submit answers through their attorneys. Whether or not debtors are truthful is the crux of the issue.

Less Than Forthcoming

A debtor who is less than forthcoming during interrogatories presents a problem. A debtor might lie about his income. He might not disclose assets that could be seized and sold to pay his debt. Whatever the case might be, not providing complete and accurate information makes the creditor’s job much more difficult.

Experienced attorneys and debt collection agencies are fully aware of this. They are also fully prepared to utilize certain tools that will help them glean information debtors do not offer willingly. Still, it is in a creditor’s best interests to get as much accurate information as possible.

Interrogatory effectiveness essentially determines whether or not a judgment creditor has to go searching for the truth. The more truthful a debtor is during interrogatories the less work is required of the creditor to collect.

Digging Around for Information

What happens when interrogatories do not go well? A creditor needs to begin digging around for information. Digging can be complicated and time consuming. It can also lead down plenty of trails that do not yield positive results. Needless to say that searching for assets can be tricky if you don’t know what you are doing.

However, judgment creditors do have an option for leveling the playing field: a collection agency specializing in judgments. Utah-based Judgment Collectors is one such agency. They are judgment specialists, meaning they do not collect general debts. They handle only judgments.

The advantage of bringing in such an agency is expertise. An organization like Judgment Collectors is familiar with all the tools legally available to creditors. They know how to scour property records and proprietary databases. They know how to use social media, credit reports, and other resources to track down debtors and their property. A good investigator can uncover all sorts of things that were not offered during interrogatories.

Sometimes It Works, Sometimes It Doesn’t

Interrogatories act as a tool for collecting valuable information creditors need to collect. Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not. In either case, interrogatories matter because they determine the course of action a judgment creditor will take.

When interrogatories result in complete and truthful information, a creditor can take a particular course of action to collect. When information is inaccurate or incomplete, another course of action is required. Are debtors aware of this? Most are. Those that aren’t are usually informed by their attorneys post-judgment. That’s when the real work begins for creditors.