December 2, 2023

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Records and Writs: Two Critical Things in Collecting Judgments

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Critical Things in Collecting Judgments
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Civil judgments have a ton of moving parts. There are a lot of things that go into managing what can be a long and drawn-out process a creditor ultimately hopes will end with successful collection. If you were forced to choose the two most important things, records and writs would certainly be in the running.

Judgment Collectors, a Salt Lake City debt collection agency that specializes in judgments, explains that firms like theirs have access to plenty of tools for tracking down debtors, identifying their assets, and getting them to pay. Keeping meticulous records is key to documenting a case as it proceeds. And as for those tools, utilizing them often requires obtaining writs.

A Game of Words

Collection agencies and judgment creditors are encouraged to keep meticulous records throughout the collection process. Complete records are so important that Utah Courts includes a statement to that effect in its official guidance on how to collect judgments. It boils down to a game of words.

Without meticulous records, it is easy for one or both parties to get bogged down in who owes what to whom. It is easy to lose track of what actions have been taken to date. And without old records, any disputes pitting one party’s words against the other are very difficult to resolve. Keeping meticulous records erases all doubt of the facts in a given case.

Furthermore, courts may ask for written records before granting writs. So if a judgment creditor is seeking a particular type of writ, the court may demand records justifying the request. Without meticulous records, writs are harder to come by.

Writs Are Court Orders

By now, you might be wondering exactly what a writ is. Judgement collection agency Judgment Collectors explains writs very simply: they are written court orders. Different states allow for different writs in civil proceedings. Judgment creditors in Utah can request the following writs:

  • Writ of Garnishment – A court order that allows the creditor to garnish the debtor’s wages, bank accounts, or both.
  • Writ of Execution – A court order allowing the judgment creditor to seize nonexempt real property for payment of an outstanding debt.
  • Writ of Replevin – A court order giving a creditor authority to recover certain types of personal property held in the possession of the debtor.
  • Writ of Attachment – A court order allowing the creditor to seize exempt real property or personal property that would otherwise be off limits.

Some writs are fairly easy to come by in a typical civil case. Others are only granted under special circumstances. In Utah, writs of replevin and attachment fall under that latter category. They are only granted under very narrow circumstances.

Nonetheless, writs are required to utilize the two most common tools in the judgment collector’s toolbox: wage garnishment and asset seizure. Creditors can garnish wages and seize nonexempt property, but they need to have a court order to do so.

Judgment Collection Isn’t Easy

The importance of meticulous records and writs to successful collection proves that collecting outstanding judgments is not easy. In fact, winning a case is often the easy part. The hard part is actually collecting what is owed. No wonder so many judgment creditors turn to firms like Judgment Collectors for help.

Fail to keep meticulous records and you may have trouble obtaining the necessary writs to enforce a judgment entered in your favor. Without those writs, you are dead in the water.

And now you know why records and writs are so critical to the judgment collection process. Records and writs are the foundation on which successful collections are built.

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