Allison Speigel is a commercial litigator and partner with Speigel Nichols Fox LLP, a boutique commercial litigation law firm.
Nobody realizes just how discouraging our judicial system can be until they are faced with the prospect of having to collect on a judgment debt – particularly when the debtor in question is a fraudster. I have had many discussions with prospective clients who ask: “We sued somebody and won, but they haven’t paid – how do we collect what is owing?” Many of these judgment creditors believed that all of their legal problems ended when they won their cases. After spending, potentially, hundreds of thousands of dollars fighting a lawsuit, it is not surprising that people are often displeased and, indeed, shocked to learn that the collection process can be as cumbersome and expensive as the underlying litigation. Many judgment creditors are forced to effectively decide whether they are willing to go double or nothing.
Why can it be so difficult to collect?
No assets: Some debtors legitimately don’t have any assets. What happens if you spend $150,000 to win a lawsuit only to learn that you cannot collect on the judgment? I suggest you frame the order because it will likely be one of the most expensive pieces of paper that you have ever fought to receive.
Lack of tools: While our legal…