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Multiple Debtors For One Judgment

When there is more than one debtor named on a judgment, it usually raises the odds that some money will be collected for that judgment. This article is my opinion, and not legal advice. I'm a judgment broker, and not an attorney. If you ever need legal advice or a strategy to use, please contact an attorney.

A simple multiple debtor example, could be if Mr. Chris Creditor won a civil judgment against Dan Debtman, (Dan's sister) Rhonda Ripoff, and their business associate Sam Scamly. The judgment states that all 3 are jointly and severally liable, and all owe that $60,000. Jointly and severally liable means that assets may be recovered from one, both, or all 3 of those judgment debtors. You can't legally recover more than the total of $60,000 in this example (along with interest and costs) owed from one, or all the judgment debtors listed on the judgment.

Chris Creditor may perform post-judgment discovery on all three debtors. Chris Creditor may identity and locate each debtor's assets. If 1 judgment debtor has non-exempt available assets, which are sufficient to satisfy the entire judgment, the judgment may be collected from that one judgment debtor. If that judgment debtor thinks that is unfair, they can file for bankruptcy protection, try to vacate the judgment, or most likely, take the issue up with the remaining 2 judgment debtors.

The available assets of all three debtors may be garnished to satisfy the judgment. Almost no judgment debtors have $60K lying around in their bank account. Most often, judgment debtor bank garnishments just capture enough money to partly satisfy the judgment. If Chris Creditor hires a Sheriff to garnish the bank accounts of all three debtors and is paid $6K more than what's due; that $6,000 has to be returned to the debtor(s) that have paid the most, usually as the result of Sheriff garnishments of their checking account(s).

When there are multiple judgment debtors, which judgment debtor should you try to collect from first? Start with the debtor that looks to possess the most money. The next answer depends on the way each debtor got served notice of the lawsuit, and which judgment debtors cared and showed up in court, when the lawsuit was getting turned into the judgment.

All other things being the same, default judgments are considered weak judgments. When a judgment debtor is served notice of their lawsuit and then does not show up in court, that means the judgment against them will be by default. Sometimes, when several defendants get served notice of a lawsuit against them, some of them show up in court, and others don't.

Judgment debtors that don't appear at court get default judgments against them, and the ones that do show up get standard judgments against them. With defaults judgment, judgment debtors may lie and claim they were not served, even if they were. If the court believes the defendant debtor, the court may grant a judgment debtor's motion to set aside the judgment.

Default judgments, where the judgment debtor was not personally served notice of their lawsuit with a Marshall, Sheriff, or a registered process server, are the most fragile judgments of all. All things being the same, it makes sense to first attempt to recover from the debtors who appeared at court. Between default debtors with the same asset situations, the debtors served notice of the lawsuit personally, are the ones to try to recover from first.

When a judgment is eventually repaid or settled, a satisfaction of judgment must be stamped and filed by the court to release every debtor named on your judgment.

About Author Mark Shapiro :

<a href="" target="_blank"></a> - Judgment Enforcement. The free, easiest, fastest, and best way to recover your judgment money. &nbsp; Mark D. Shapiro - Do you have a judgment? Do you have leads for judgment owners? Do you buy or recover judgments? If so, is for you!

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Article Added on Tuesday, May 7, 2013
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