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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Screening Judgments

When deciding whether to take a creditor's judgment, what factors should you consider? If you look up only the judgment debtor with very basic searches, that will not include a reliable asset search. With permissible purpose, can you simply order credit reports? That can become very expensive.

This article is my opinion, and not legal advice. I am a judgment referral expert, and am not a lawyer. If you ever need any legal advice or a strategy to use, please contact a lawyer.

All judgments should be checked out thoroughly. This means checking that the judgment itself is valid, that the debtor might have some assets, and the creditor themselves are reasonable.

While there are inexpensive options to screen judgment debtors using public records, screening a judgment or a judgment debtor is not the same as finding leviable assets. Proper screening includes looking at the debtor, how they live, what they own, where they live, and what kind of lifestyle they have.

These are six considerations to think about, before deciding to take a creditor's Assignment of Judgment:

1) Age: Too young may be a problem, however too old is more of a problem, because it allows for many exemptions and social interests.

2) The debtor's residence: Owns their house (good), rents a dump (bad). Moves a lot (bad) or lives outside your area of operation (bad). If they live in an old mobile home with an old pickup truck up on blocks in front and a pit bull dog chained up in their yard, that is not a good sign.

3) Existing liens - IRS tax or child support (Bad News). UCC or minor tax liens (Perhaps bad news. Be careful).

4) Existing judgments - It is bad news if the judgment debtor owes lots of other judgments, especially big ones. If the debtor has a lot of tax lien judgments against them, that is extra bad news

5) If your debtor is married, only in a Community Property State; their spouse may be another potential target to try to recover from, although additional paperwork may be required.

6) Is the judgment the kind you want to work on? Many recovery experts avoid family law judgments, and in some places consumer debts are often problematic. Many enforcers avoid medical-related judgments and unlawful detainer judgments.

Some judgment debtors are both very rich and very clever. Consider the case of a half million dollar judgment on a swindler who is about to get out of prison, who probably stashed his loot in a foreign country? Do you have the connections, and the money and the time, to deal with such a judgment?

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Judgment recovery, is a collections effort, and is usually tough. Mark Shapiro of http://www.JudgmentBuy.com - The easy, free, and best way to find the best expert to buy or recover your judgment.

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Judgment recovery, is a collections effort, and is usually tough. Mark Shapiro of http://www.JudgmentBuy.com- The easy, free, and best way to find the best expert to buy or recover your judgment.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Reader Legality

Starting with the iPhone 5, more of Apple's new devices might soon come with fingerprint readers, which could revolutionize the importance and popularity of fingerprint readers. Apple seems to have gotten things right. First is their security policy, Apple said they do not send fingerprints to the government or the NSA. "We only can store it". Second, it takes five different fingers; either five of yours, or five different people.

This article is my opinion, and not legal advice. I am a judgment referral expert, and am not a lawyer. If you ever need any legal advice or a strategy to use, please contact a lawyer.

What makes Apple's fingerprint technology "safe" is that it is not storing images, instead it stores a "hash table", which gives a number generated by your fingerprint, and is presumably relatively unique to you. (I think it is possible for two people to have almost the same fingerprints.) There may be some people that would generate the same hash number, however it is highly unlikely that somebody else would also have your phone.

Currently, the iPhone 5's fingerprint reader may have the legal effect of eliminating your rights to the Fifth Amendment, that guarantees "no person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against themselves". Recent court cases have stated that memory-based passwords, PINs, and thoughts in your brain; are protected by the Fifth Amendment.

The Supreme Court has made it clear that the Fifth Amendment broadly applies not only during a criminal prosecution, but also to any other proceeding "civil or criminal, formal or informal", where answers might tend to incriminate us. It comes from English law dating back to the 1600s, when it was used to protect people from being tortured by inquisitors, to force them to divulge information that could be used against them.

The Supreme Court says if the police demand that you give them the key to a lockbox, and that lockbox happens to contain incriminating evidence; turning over the key is not testimonial. It is simply a physical act, so that is okay because it is not information.

The constitutional protection of the Fifth Amendment, which guarantees that "no person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself"; may not apply when it comes to biometric-based fingerprints. Fingerprints are things that reflect who we are, compared to memory-based passwords and PINs (things we remember and know).

The Supreme Court has stated the government cannot take your thoughts, however they can take your blood. They can take DNA samples. They can take voice samples and handwriting samples. They can take your fingerprints, or they can tell you to put your finger on a button; and that is all okay.

For the Fifth privilege to apply, the government must try to compel a person to make a "testimonial" statement that would tend to incriminate him or her. When a person has a valid privilege against self-incrimination, nobody (not even a judge) can force them to give that information to the government.

Biometric authentication is big news, ever since Apple introduced its newest iPhone, which will let users unlock their device with a fingerprint. Given Apple's industry-leading position, this might catch on fast. Some even argue that Apple's move will displace authenticators based on what a user knows (such as passwords and PIN numbers).

A communication is "testimonial" only when it reveals the contents of your mind. The government generally can collect biometrics such as fingerprints, DNA samples, or voice samples. This is because the courts have decided that this kind of evidence does not reveal anything you know; it is not a testimonial.

If the police demand that you give them the key to a lockbox that happens to contain incriminating evidence, turning over the key would not be a testimonial, if it is just a physical act that does not reveal anything you know.

If the police try to force you to divulge the combination to a wall safe, your response would reveal the contents of your mind, and so the Fifth Amendment would apply. (If you have written down the combination on a piece of paper and the police demand that you give it to them, that may be a different story.) To invoke Fifth Amendment protection, there is a difference between things we have or are, and the things we know.

The important feature of PINs and passwords is that they are generally something we know. These memory-based authenticators are the type of thing that benefits from strong Fifth Amendment protection, should the government try to make us turn them over against our will.

Last year, a federal appeals court held that a man could not be forced to decrypt data. If we move toward authentication systems based solely on physical tokens or biometrics; things we have or things we are, rather than things we remember; the government could demand that we produce them without implicating anything we know. This would make it less likely that a valid privilege against self-incrimination would apply.

Biometric authentication may make it easier for everyday users to protect the data on their phones. As wonderful as technological innovation is, it sometimes creates unintended legal consequences. If Apple's move leads us to abandon knowledge-based authentication altogether, we risk undermining the legal rights we currently enjoy under the Fifth Amendment.

An easy fix for Apple would be to give users the option to unlock their phones with a fingerprint, plus something the user knows. I think fingerprints with simple authentication is the answer. This would also be easier and more secure than trying to remember a long password.

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Judgment recovery, is a collections effort, and is usually tough. Mark Shapiro of http://www.JudgmentBuy.com - The easy, free, and best way to find the best expert to buy or recover your judgment

Monday, April 14, 2014

Lemon Judgments

As of 2014, most civil judgments are never paid; because the judgment debtors have insufficient current available assets. Most creditors are far too optimistic about the short and long-term values of their judgments.

This article is my opinion, and not legal advice. I am a judgment referral expert, and am not a lawyer. If you ever need any legal advice or a strategy to use, please contact a lawyer.

If you are trying to recover someone else's judgment, how do you deal with lemon judgments? Nobody knows the future. The plus part is some of those lemons will pay off over time. The economy could change, or the debtor could inherit something, or get a job or a bank account one day.

What if you are holding a lemon judgment, and the OJC (Original Judgment Creditor) wants it back? Tell the OJC you have your liens down, and will keep tracking the judgment debtor. However, if they insist on getting their judgment back, just assign it back to them.

If there are no assets, and the debtor is a lemon, no matter how much you have spent; assign it back if the OJC insists.

If the OJC has a property lien down, and you take assignment of the judgment, you now also own that lien. It is the same when you return the judgment to the OJC, any liens you purchased become legally the OJC's property.

If you have a lemon, before you spend any more money, tell the OJC. Tell them your plan; to put down liens, check the debtor every year to see if they have any assets, and that your goal is to get the money, just like they want the money. Tell them "it is a good idea to let me keep it". If they resist, simply assign their judgment back.

If the debtor owns real estate property, if there is not enough equity when considering your State's homestead exemption; then keep it for your retirement, and notify the OJC that is what you are doing, to benefit both of you. Explain that the judgment has limited routes for enforcement, and you have done as much as you can, and most likely it will pay off one day, if left with you.

As for a real "turnip" judgment, reassign it back at the first hint the OJC wants it back. Yes, you may have spent (e.g.) $150, however it is a lesson in screening judgments better.

Many judgment enforcers continue to take crummy judgments because they are handed to them. Some people say this is a "numbers game", however it does not have to be. If we screen well, and put our money into the screening process rather than in the enforcement part, we may find increased profits.

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Judgment recovery, is a collections effort, and is usually tough. Mark Shapiro of http://www.JudgmentBuy.com - The easy, free, and best way to find the best expert to buy or recover your judgment.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Judgment Recovery And Home Offices

In most states, one can attempt to recover judgments from their own home office. Although working from home has many advantages; there are drawbacks to using a home office to recover judgments.

This article is my opinion, and not legal advice. I am a judgment referral expert, and am not a lawyer. If you ever need any legal advice or a strategy to use, please contact a lawyer.

One drawback is that some creditors will be turned off to learn you are working from your home. Another drawback is that some of the best data services will truncate their data, if they find out that you are using their services from your home.

Some of the judgment debtor information that can be looked up with permissible purpose; includes their SSN, telephone number, possible employment, licenses, and other information.

In addition to having a commercial address, some of the best data providers prefer you use a secured desktop computer, rather than a laptop. They do their inspections, and look for a separate room, a shredder, non-shared (and locking) cabinets, a locking door that only you have the key to, a dedicated telephone line (landline), etc.

Although there are exceptions, most of the best data providers truncate reports for those having home offices. Usually, truncated data is far less useful than the provider's full product reports.

If you are serious about your career in judgment recovery, and you can afford it; I recommend you get a commercial address, at least a closet-sized office space in some office building, for a minimal amount of rent.

If you cannot get a commercial space, then you might not get the best data. One way to help work around this; is if you become a registered process server. Most data providers are much friendlier to registered process servers. The reason is that registered process servers are a safer gamble for them; because servers have their fingerprints on file, and are bonded.

In California, depending on the county you are in, it costs about $250-$500 to become a registered process server. That is much cheaper than paying for some commercial space. You might be able to earn money working as a registered process server.

Usually, judgment recovery is very slow, so becoming a registered process server is often a good idea. That way, you might earn money before any judgments get recovered. You can also save money by trading process serves with other judgment recovery specialists that are also process servers.

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Judgment recovery, is a collections effort, and is usually tough. Mark Shapiro of http://www.JudgmentBuy.com - The easy, free, and best way to find the best expert to buy or recover your judgment.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Service By Publication

Service by publication is defined when notice of a lawsuit against a defendant is done by publishing a notice with an advertisement in a newspaper of general circulation. Service by publication is the weakest way to serve notice of a lawsuit, because nobody gets personally served. Although almost made obsolete by the internet because of the decline of newspapers; in most states, lawsuits can sometimes be served by publication.  

This article is my opinion, and not legal advice. I am a judgment referral expert, and am not a lawyer. If you ever need any legal advice or a strategy to use, please contact a lawyer.

Service by publication is used to give "constructive notice" to a defendant who is intentionally absent, hiding, or not fully known. Usually, a judge's order is required; based on a sworn declaration of the inability to serve the defendant after "due diligence" (trying hard) is first demonstrated to the court.

Sometimes service by publication can be used in a divorce action to serve a spouse that has disappeared without a leaving a forwarding address, or to give notice to people who might have a right to object to a "quiet title" action to get clear title to real estate property.

When a default judgment was served by publication only, it is very easy for the debtor to later claim they never got notice of the lawsuit, and then vacate (overturn) the judgment against them.

When a judgment debtor is served by publication, they usually do not show up in court, so the judgment will be by default. Before a default judgment (especially if it was served by publication) is enforced, the creditor should consider having something personally served on the debtor first.

In California, six months after a post-judgment document is personally served on the judgment debtor; that debtor will not be able to claim they did not know about the judgment against them.

Service by publication is usually a last-resort effort. Creditors should try hard to have their defendants (or in some cases, someone else living or working at the same address as the debtor) personally served.

The strongest lawsuits and judgments require personal service on the defendant. The next best type of service is sub-service on someone else living or working with the defendant, next is service by registered mail on the defendant; and once again, service by publication is the weakest type of lawsuit service.

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Judgment recovery, is a collections effort, and is usually tough. Mark Shapiro of http://www.JudgmentBuy.com - The easy, free, and best way to find the best expert to buy or recover your judgment.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

I a done with PayPal for good

They told me I needed to change my password, I tried, following all their strict rules for 1/2 an hour, it never worked, I'll stick with Google and Amazon - too many horror stories about Paypal'----------------

Judgment recovery, is a collections effort, which is usually tough. The best judgment experts are available and can help with your judgment recovery efforts. Mark Shapiro of http://www.JudgmentBuy.com - The easy, free, and best way to find the best expert to buy or recover your judgment.