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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Smile, darn Ya

All my life, from my parents to my teachers to my ex-wife, and many other people have always been very sad, depressed, down, and stuck in a loop of talking negatively and thinking and acting negatively.

I have some serious health issues, money issues, my love is currently away, most judgment owners seem retarded, and I have also had a string of bad luck - yet I spend my days exercising, listening to positive music, watching comedy TV, working, spending time with friends, meditating, but even most of my friends are negative talkers.

Sure, the economy is in the toilet, and most people seem like characters from the movie Idiocracy, laws are unjust, we are all going to die some day, most TV and music is garbage, the government and media lies to us - but there is God, the sun, the moon, the stars, nature, the air, light and sound, food,  water, some freedom, music, animals, weed, and so much more to be thankful for.

If you catch yourself repeating negative thoughts or actions, consider changing; and just smile and focus on something good. As an example, no emails used to bum me out, now I just laugh and close my browser for a while and find something else to do, and reasons to smile!


Mark Shapiro, judgment broker, judgment writer, growing referral expert; and a smile chaser.  and

Monday, July 11, 2016

My 40 hour day!

I will soon change to a 40 hour day, instead of a 24 hour day. This is because I think this is what my body wants. So each 40 hours, I will eat a big meal only once, with snacks, and sleep just once with naps. This is because of a rare and (formerly fully disabling) stomach problem that masks itself as a sinus problem that 115/117 stupid doctors miss-diagnosed. Most doctors think I have a mental problem, only because I seem allergic to digesting calories and they do not know why. (Note if I think about food, taste food, buy food, cook food, watch others eat I have no problem at all.) Only 20-30 minutes after digesting more than 100 calories causes me my problem. It takes me a very long time to recover from each full meal.

For about 3 months I have eaten 95% of my calories in the morning, which makes me fully recovered by late afternoons, so I can then exercise, write, and work. I will try my 40 hour day experiment because I predict it will make me happier, more productive and healthier. Wish me luck please!

Update, alas 20 hours awake and 14 hours after my last full meal (had 2 100 calorie snacks and one nap after my last meal, thanks to weed; once again, I was right, it is only my stomach, not my mind. I no longer (after digesting food) need or want weed, I am now smart and strong, and my "sinus" problem is now gone. Writing articles, listening to Alan Watts, editing Music, watching Lassie on TV, will go to the gym when it opens. Ah peace and quiet and not even a spam!

Update 2: Ah my IQ is finally back up to it's peak, I just realized it is silly to limit myself to 40 hours, as soon as I am done digesting my meal and and am hungry I will eat, when sleepy I will sleep, so simple, rather that following society's "rules" for eating 3 times a day and sleeping every night, from now on I will listen to my body and smile!


Mark Shapiro, judgment broker, judgment writer, growing referral expert; and a smile chaser.  and

Friday, June 24, 2016

341 Hearing Follies

341 bankruptcy hearings are often the only time that a (debtor filing for bankruptcy) has to show up in a bankruptcy court. Usually, most debtors have nothing to fear at their 341 hearings, because they are just sworn in, and then answer a few boiler-plate questions from the bankruptcy trustee; who then usually grants a discharge recommendation to the judge in their bankruptcy case.

Although creditors are invited to question the debtor, unless fraud is involved, there is little reason for creditors to show up at a 341 bankruptcy hearing. If there in not fraud or crime, the creditor’s questions are very limited and rarely interest the trustee enough to make the trustee not grant the debtor’s bankruptcy request.

Especially in Chapter 7 bankruptcies, smart creditors do not usually show up, because they know it is often a waste of their time, and they are not allowed to act like Perry Mason when they question the debtor. Each creditor gets just a few minutes at most to ask their questions. If fraud is involved, the creditor might interest the trustee, and can pay a lawyer for a 2004 examination later. 

An exception is when a creditor knows something the trustee does not know, that involves potential debtor assets that can be used to satisfy all creditors. Even if a creditor wakes up the trustee about more potential assets, those assets will be split among all creditors.

Things that will not not interest the trustee are how rotten the debtor is, their past behavior, or your gut feelings. What may interest the trustee are un-litigated claims, potential windfalls, or undisclosed debtor assets.

For unlimited debtor claims, a creditor might inquire about that nature of the injury, what party is responsible for it, the name of that party's insurance company, if any; and where they are in the settlement process.

All debtor assets, including future anticipated assets; are part of what the trustee has control over. The trustee has the power to take over any claim for the benefit of creditors. And you can insist on that, if it is warranted.

If the debtor is expecting a windfall, they should be aware that the trustee can reopen a closed case, and take these assets up to six months later when they become available. Also, some trustees seem insane and ask debtors crazy questions that have nothing to do with the bankruptcy or debtor assets. I have even heard trustees ask debtors about their blogs, marijuana use, and hobbies - all of which have nothing to do with the debtor's bankruptcy!


Mark Shapiro, judgment broker, judgment writer, growing referral expert; and a smile chaser.  and

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Should you sue someone?

It is bad enough when some person or company rips you off. It is even worse when some lawyer you hire does not research your debtor enough, and encourages you to sue a poor or clever person or entity. The worst of all happens when you sue a poor or clever person or entity, and then spend countless dollars and hours trying to recover your judgment, or waste time trying to find someone (often eventually) to buy it or recover it.

When I was first defrauded by a well-dressed smooth friendly scammer, my lawyer said I should sue him because of the amount of money at stake. That was bad advice, because that scammer was very clever and defrauded hundreds, including mayors, lawyers, title companies, and many "investors" like me. All the fraud's assets were very well hidden, as permitted by current US laws. Suing my fraud was just a waste of my time and money, as were my efforts to try to recover my judgment money.

Before you sue someone - think about what you are doing. You are getting a judgment, which is just a piece of paper. If the debtor was honest, they would have paid you, and you would not have had to sue them. My advice is to not sue clever or broke debtors, instead research them carefully before you do business with them.

In my business, I get about 20 judgments a day, often, about 18 of them are against broke or professional scammers who have no assets showing. Almost always, the judgment owners that contact me have forgotten that it is only the debtor that can pay their judgment off. If the debtor is clever or broke, they will never pay the judgment and it will expire worthless. When the debtor has available assets, my company refers people for free to the best recovery experts and judgment buyers.


Mark Shapiro, judgment broker, judgment writer, growing referral expert.  and

Sunday, June 19, 2016

So You Want To Sell Your Judgment

Many judgment owners get frustrated by fruitlessly searching for someone to buy their judgment for a slight discount from its face value. Such attempts always fail, no matter how many potential buyers a judgment creditor contacts. Real judgment buyers do not care about you, your story, your situation, your needs, or what a court or lawyer says; they care only about your debtor's available assets.

Available assets, are those reachable and seizable (by using a Sheriff or Marshall). Usually, only one wage levy at time, can attach to a judgment debtor's wages. The second wage levy will usually be rejected. If a debtor owns a 400K house with a home loan of $350K, they just have 50K of equity in that home. After a creditor's foreclosure expenses, perhaps only $25K might reach the creditor. The debtor's fancy car might be leased and will not be reachable by creditors. In a community property state, the debtor's spouse usually owns half of the debtor's assets; and again, is not usually reachable by creditors of the debtor. Available assets are those that can be attached by creditors, and not protected by laws or having other encumbrances.

One reason most judgments never sell cash upfront for a price anything close to their face value is bankruptcy. Unless a judge signs a judgment that strongly mentions fraud or a criminal activity, all common judgments become worthless if the debtor files for bankruptcy protection; or the judgment owners get a few pennies on the dollar at most.

Another reason most judgments do not sell for much cash up front,  is that unless they are renewed, most judgments expire. Another reason is that it takes money and time to attempt to recover a judgment. Worse yet, the money spent trying to recover the judgment is wasted if the recovery attempt fails. Recovery attempts fail often because the law only allows a few ways to recover a judgment. Gone are the days when you could take a judgment debtor, turn them upside down and
shake them, to see what falls out of their pockets.

Judgments are chances at recovering money, they are not money. You cannot take a judgment to a bank as collateral for a loan. As a rule, you get more judgment money on a future-payment basis over time, than with a cash upfront sale. Future-payment means you get paid if and when the judgment recovery is accomplished, as the money comes in. The reason you almost always get more judgment money on a future-payment basis is that you assume the risk, that the judgment will never be  recovered - no matter how good the judgment enforcer/attorney is.

With all these reasons why judgments do not sell for much cash upfront; how can you maximize your chances to sell your judgment for as much as possible (keeping in mind that judgment buyers want to pay as little as possible)?

1) Find out where your debtor lives, works, how they make their money, and what vehicles and other assets they own. Sometimes, the best way is to drive by on the weekend to see what is in their garage. Look up property records where the debtor lives, to see if the debtor owns the property or not. I run a judgment company and we cannot help judgment owners that wish to sell their judgment for cash upfront, unless the debtor owns property. If you know nothing about your debtor, do not expect to successfully sell your judgment.

2) Do not waste everyone's time with long stories about what caused your judgment, how rotten your debtor is, or what your situation is. When you communicate with potential judgment buyers, stick to the debtor's identity and assets. The judgment buyer is only interested in such things as the debtor's age, sex, address, social security number; and their income and assets.

3) Do not waste your time trying to sell your judgment forever. If ten judgment buyers refuse to buy your judgment at any price, that means that your debtor does not have enough assets for a buyer to pay cash  upfront for. No matter how many judgment buyers you contact, the facts will remain the same. Beware of ads on the internet saying  things such as "We pay 50% cash upfront for judgments". Such companies pass on 99% of judgments, until they find one where the debtor owns lots of property free and clear, and even then, probably never paid anything close to 50%. I have been in the business for 15 years and I have never seen a sale for more than 35%, and that was a bankruptcy judgment against a filthy rich debtor.

4) Prepare one plain-text document, with the pertinent debtor information and revise it after some feedback by the first potential judgment buyers.

5) Understand that judgment prices partially depend on location and the type of court, and the proof of service. Examples would be which state, and default small claims judgments VS usually much stronger bankruptcy court judgments.

6) If you cannot sell your judgment for cash upfront after trying ten potential judgment buyers; consider hiring a lawyer to recover your judgment or using a judgment broker, or a future-payment judgment enforcer.


Mark Shapiro, judgment broker, judgment writer, plant referral expert; and a smile chaser.  and

How To Enforce A Judgment

When you have a judgment, you have five choices:

1) Try (it is not easy) to sell your judgment for cash upfront (always for pennies on the dollar). Selling your judgment for cash upfront always means to sell it at a sharp discount. A bankruptcy judgment against a very rich debtor with lots of available assets might sell for 45% cash upfront. A typical $10K civil judgment against an unemployed debtor owning no property or valuable assets, might sell for 2% of the judgment's face value cash upfront.

2) To give up a percentage of what is collected over time by choosing a future-payment judgment/collection professional. Future-payment contingency judgment recovery experts pay you as they collect your judgment. Usually, this costs you nothing out of pocket. If the expert recovers nothing, you get nothing. Be aware that some judgment enforcers sit on judgments until they expire, to avoid this problem;  contact a judgment broker, or you must trust what a judgment enforcer tells you. Asking for references is a waste of time, because the enforcer will always have easy-to-recover judgment case files ready to brag about.

3) Hire a lawyer to try to collect your judgment. Hiring a lawyer usually involves two choices, one choice is to pay them by the hour, whether or not they collect anything. The other choice is to pay them on a future-payment contingency basis. Try to pick an experienced lawyer who has recovered judgments for at least five years. Every state, and most counties, have a legal state bar, with low-cost meetings with a lawyer to discuss your judgment situation.

4) Sit on your judgment, guaranteeing nothing will happen.

5) Try to recover the judgment yourself. Recovering a judgment yourself requires money, patience, and learning a lot; because letters and phone calls to the debtor almost never work. First, you must learn and follow Federal, State, and local laws related to judgment recovery. Laws mandate harsh
punishments for those that do not follow the laws related to debt collection. FDCPA (the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act) is a Federal law, covering all communications with debtors, including judgment debtors.

Once you learn the laws, you must learn which forms your court requires. All courts sell writs of execution (called other names in some states) that are required before you can attach your debtor's wages, pay the Sheriff to sell their property, raid the debtor's bank account, etc. Other forms are needed for debtor examinations, to bring the debtor to court to answer your questions, often called
ORAP (ORder for APpearance) forms. Some courts have a Memorandum of Costs form, to record some of the many expenses incurred when recovering judgments, and other forms.

Once you learn the laws and the forms, anything that does not requiring a surprise, for example, wage and bank levies (levies are sometimes called garnishments) requires that the debtor be served notice. Depending on the court and the form, notice can be served by mail or must be personally served.
It is s good idea to ask the court to see a few case files, so you can look to see how other judgments were recovered. Most judgments are never  recovered, so you may have to pull a lot of case files to find some enforcement actions. Never write in a court file, or take any documents out of it. Some courts do not allow scanners or cameras, so bring your laptop or a pad of paper to write on.

Notice of a legal document by mail requires an adult (not you) to mail notice (a copy of the court endorsed form) to the judgment debtor by first class mail. When I used to recover judgments myself, I used the UPS store where I had a box rental. I had an employee do this for me. If you need service by mail, make it easy for the person, so all they have to do is sign it, and put it in your stamped envelope. Also, if you use the person more than twice, do them a favor, or buy them something. I used to give the UPS worker $20 for every 10 notices they mailed out.

Personal service requires an adult (not you) to personally serve the court paperwork on the judgment debtor. While the law usually lets any adult (besides you) serve court paperwork, it is much better to hire a registered legal process server. Google "how to find a process server" and you will be all set. I do not recommend a telephone book because it is full of stale information.

Some court actions require you to appear in court, for example judgment debtor examinations, where you can ask the debtor (and/or third-parties) anything even remotely related to recovering your judgment. You can also require a SDT (Subpoena Duces Tecum) with your scheduled debtor examination. SDTs require the debtor to bring you paperwork, such as bank statements, paycheck stubs, driver's licenses, etc. Debtors often lie and/or do not bring the requested documents. If they fail to bring SDT'd documents, you can ask the court (judge) to continue the matter on a future date, so the debtor gets another chance to bring documents. Very few courts punish debtors for not bringing documents or lying to you; however some courts issue a bench warrant if the debtor does not show up in court.

Levying a judgment debtor wages usually works. Sometimes, wage levies fail. The reasons include when there is a previous wage levy in place. Sometimes debtors quit their job right after the first levied paycheck, sometimes employers lie to cover up for debtors, etc. Bank levies often work, however sometimes there is not much money in the account, the account is closed, or the bank will lie or delay the levy, to warn their "good customer". There are services that will find the debtor's bank and employer for a fee, and some guarantee their search results.

Selling any property of the debtor besides their bank account and their wages, requires a (Sheriff department) organized and supervised public (not advertised enough) auction. You can usually credit bid up to the amount of your judgment if you want the item. Otherwise, it sells for whatever a buyer is willing to pay, and after expenses, you get paid (eventually). Good luck!


Mark Shapiro, judgment broker, judgment writer, plant referral expert; and a smile chaser.  and

Saturday, June 18, 2016

How to Buy Judgments

Judgments are court documents that state one party (the original judgment creditor/plaintiff) owes another party (the judgment debtor/defendant) money.

There are at least four reasons to buy a judgment.

1) To admire it.
2) To attempt to resell it for a higher price.
3) To try to recover it.
4) To keep it in your folder or desk.

Of the four reasons, only reason # 3 makes sense. One and 4 are silly, and so is # 2 (because the value of a judgment depends mostly on the debtor, so it is hard to make a profit by reselling it). Number 3 makes the most sense.

To buy judgments to recover them has at least three advantages:

1) You never need to deal with the original judgment creditor again.
2) You can take your time to recover the judgment with nobody to report to.
3) You get to decide how much to pay and which judgments to buy.

To buy judgments to recover has at least three disadvantages:

1) The judgment may never be recovered (the debtor is poor, bankrupted, dead, etc.) and what you paid will be wasted. Worse yet, you might spend a lot of time and money before the debtor becomes "judgment proof".

2) You must work and pay to attempt to recover the judgment.

3) You need enough cash to buy judgments.

Six things to consider before buying a judgment:

1) The laws of your state.

2) The expiration date of the judgment.

3) The debtor, their age, available assets, income, crime record, evictions, etc.

4) A data service so you can verify item 3 above.

5) The creditor. If the creditor is dumb or stupid, perhaps do not buy their judgment, because such people may be a big headache in your future.

6) Your skill and knowledge in recovering judgments, make sure you have recovered a few judgments before buying one.

Too many judgment buyers lie on the internet, with lies such as "we buy judgments for 50 cents on the dollar". The truth is they only pay that much (if ever) for juicy judgments with very rich debtors. My advice is not to lie, if you must mention a percentage you will pay, make sure to add the words "up to". In 15 years and more than 10,000 judgments, I have never seen a judgment sell for cash upfront for more than 35%. That 35% sale was for a strong bankruptcy judgment against a very rich debtor.

Of course, telling the truth will cost you business but will make you worth doing business with. I refuse to lie, and wish more web sites told the truth. The most common reason to pay more than a few pennies on the dollar is when the debtor was personally served, and has lots of equity in property(s). Some debtors own expensive toys or have expensive hobby collections, and those can usually be levied. Judgments against businesses can be recovered by debtor examinations to bring in customers and vendors of the company. For a store or restaurant, the cash register can be levied by a Sheriff.


Mark Shapiro, judgment broker, judgment writer, plant referral expert; and a smile chaser.  and

Friday, June 10, 2016

Make Scammers waste their time

I think many or most of us have fallen for a scam at least once in our lives, or will fall for one someday. Now, many or most scams are online. In my life, I have fallen for 3 scams, and learned from them all, and I am now too smart for scammers. 

I used to quickly delete the constant barrage of scam email offers, now I have fun and play along for a while to waste their time. As soon as they ask me for any money (this comes late in their string of emails, after one shows some interest) I just email them back or tell them (if they call) that I do not fall for scams. Then, I delete all their emails.

This frustrates scammers and makes them work for nothing. The way most scams work is they entice you with an offer that is "too good to be true" or is "undeserved riches" for you. Every day I get emailed a picture of some cute lady with a story such as she just inherited millions, or or some fake rich guy that wants to donate money to me, or loan me money at no interest, etc.

If you respond, the scammer will say anything over the telephone, email, chat, Google or Skype chats, etc. They may ask for your banking info, full name, address, and phone number. If they ask you for your email password, immediately tell them you do not fall for scams immediately, and never deal with them again. 

What scammers ask for or tell you cannot be predicted, however they eventually want your money. If you give them your bank account information, they might debit it. If you give them too much personal info, you are at risk for identity fraud. The deal-breaker is when the scammer asks you for money. They usually ask you to use Western Union or Moneygram, when they ask for money, I simply flake on them, or tell them "I do not fall for scams".

My friend,  Derek Gray - has an excellent blog, that lists and discusses scammers, visit

Another scam is some company wants you to accept checks for them, and send them 90-95% of the check via a wire right away; and lets you keep 5-10% of the amount. The problem is the checks often bounce and leave you broke. The way to combat this is to accept and cash the check, then flake on sending them money for about 3 weeks, so you can make sure the check is not likely to bounce. Another scam is when the check sender sends you a check for too much, and then asks for a refund - the same rules apply, wait 3 weeks before paying them, to make sure the check did not bounce. If they complain, say you are worried the check will bounce and they can wait or they can try and sue you, because protecting yourself against scams is more important than paying your questionable scammer on time.

Lastly, never enter your credit/debit card details on any website unless it was your idea to do so, if someone you have never met in person tells you to use your credit card, say sorry I do not fall for scams.


Mark Shapiro, judgment broker, judgment writer, plant referral expert; and a smile chaser.  and

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Why don't judgment sellers send debtor information?

I do not know why so many people are so stupid when it comes to judgment selling, especially lawyers - sending me judgments with no debtor information, asking me to quote them a price for their judgment. That is like saying I am... - without saying anything else. Without debtor and debtor asset information "I want to sell my judgment" is a meaningless phrase.

If the judgment debtors owns property and has equity, I can (modesty aside, I am the best) help people find a good judgment buyer, if not I suggest to them future-payment payment recovery.  For me to help people sell their judgment, they need to send send me their debtor information.


Mark Shapiro, judgment broker, judgment writer, plant referral expert; and a smile chaser.  and