Re: How to Collect on Bad Debts

Your only chance of collecting on a judgement is if the customer has to clean their credit in order to by a house, etc. I’ve only been paid on an old judgement twice in nearly 20 years – both times for this reason. If you hire a collections agency, you are going to have to spend time finding one, giving them the information, answering their calls later, checking in with them, and in the end you’ll probably gain nothing but lose time. Most all Americans know by now that non-secured judgements are essentially worthless and act accordingly. The only reason that we can all get paid rent is that you have the lever over the head of the tenant that you can kick them out on the street. Once they are already out on the street, you have no negotiating power at all.

I’ve probably used 20 different collection agencies over the years, and not one of them has ever collected one dollar, despite their promises of great success. The judgements I got paid on were cases where the tenant came directly to me to clean their credit.

Collection agencies only have one weapon in their arsenal – harrassment. To do that, the target has to have a working, published phone number, the willingness to answer the phone, and the internal conflict of having someone chasing them for money. Mobile home park resildents don’t have any of these items, so it never goes anywhere.