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Resource Center > Article
Looking For A Legitimate Business Opportunity?
31 Mar 09 Posted by: Kathleen C Lanza
in Opportunity Focus
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Fast-Growing and Profitable Legitimate Business Opportunity That Will Thrive Regardless of What the Economy Is Doing?  You’ve found it… Be Your Own Boss...Provide a Much-Needed Service…Make a Great Living! Here’s What You Need To Know About Becoming a Judgment Recovery Specialist.

Hundreds if not thousands of civil cases are heard by the judges who sit on the benches in your local courthouse each year. It’s the same old story…someone sues someone else for damages or not holding up their end of a bargain or contract. Money changes hands…or does it? What you may not know is that a full 79% of those awarded debts go uncollected! That’s right, 79%! It’s staggering.

Even more unbelievable is the fact that the full responsibility for collecting the awarded judgment (or debt) resides with the person who won the case, also known as the judgment holder. What!? That’s right, when someone takes someone else to court and WINS, that judgment holder must now collect his/her own judgment from the debtor. Now you can only imagine how that goes when the debtor is unable or unwilling to pony up the goods in the first place. After all, if the exchange was going to be easy, the judgment holder wouldn’t have had to take things to court at all, right? No wonder the percentage of uncollected debts awarded in civil cases is so high!

Long story short, once the final judgment is made and monetary compensation is awarded, the court itself does NOTHING to enforce the judgment. The judgment holder is alone!

 Looking For A Legitimate, Fast-Growing and Profitable Business Opportunity That Will Thrive Regardless of What the Economy Is Doing? You’ve found it…

The Role of the Judgment Recovery Specialist


Well, not entirely alone…not anymore anyway. Beginning in the 80s, a new industry began to emerge that focused on assisting judgment holders in claiming the debts that were owed them. Today, the role of the Judgment Recovery Specialist (JRS) has evolved into a well-respected and growing profession and a legitimate business opportunity that is gradually gaining recognition in courthouses nationwide.

Civil case files are a matter of public record. Your local courthouse is full of them. More importantly, it’s full of cases where the judgment has never been fulfilled and awarded monies have gone unpaid. A well-trained (JRS) accesses those files, decides which cases he/she would like to handle and then contacts the judgment holder to offer his/her services in collecting the debt. By virtue of civil statute in all 50 states and Canada, the judgment holder is then able to legally and simply turn over the ownership of the judgment to the JRS.

By law, once the (JRS) becomes the owner of the judgment, he/she acquires the full right to access information that not just anyone would know about, such as consumer credit history and other critical financial information. The transfer of ownership also allows the JRS to utilize his/her specialized training and knowledge to locate the debtor and ensure the debt is paid using legal procedures and remedies as set forth by the courts. These may include wage garnishments, bank account seizures, interception of under-the-table income or seizure and sale of personal/real property, to name just a few.

In return, the JRS negotiates with the judgment holder to keep as much as half of the judgment as compensation for his/her services. He/she is not paid anything until and unless the debt is paid, so it costs the original judgment holder absolutely nothing out-of-pocket for the (JRS's) services. Most judgment holders agree that half of something is always better than 100% of nothing! And splitting the judgment with the JRS also becomes a virtual non-issue when judgment holders understand that their uncollected debt earns interest through the years, so half is more than they thought. Perhaps most importantly, the JRS earns every penny. It’s not so much that the work of collecting unpaid debts is hard. It’s just that it requires tremendous research, dedication and training to do it well, making it a legitimate business opportunity. That’s where a person like Christina Smiley comes in.

Sierra Judgment Recovery

Smiley is the Founder/Owner of Sierra Judgment Recovery (JRS). She’s been at JRS since the early 90s and has dedicated herself to training others and sharing her well-earned expertise and knowledge with them since 1997. Smiley is on a mission to recruit serious-minded professionals who don’t mind hard work, have integrity and would like to consider being a JRS as a career. She’ll do whatever it takes to train and support the right candidates, those who share her passion in ensuring the rule of law is upheld for those who can’t help themselves.

“People who are interested in this line of work will tell me they think they will feel bad collecting money from people that might not be in a financial position to pay,”she says. “But you have to keep in mind who the real victim is here. If someone goes through the pain of taking a case to court, then wins and never gets anything out of it, that’s just not right.” She’ll concede that in some instances, that sympathy is warranted. “But when I collect for a little old lady whose contractor took advantage of her and didn’t finish her roof as promised and took all her money…well then I’m providing something valuable,”Smiley goes on. “That makes me feel really good.” She adds that it is always the prerogative of the JRS to accept a case or not. In other words, once a JRS contacts the judgment holder and gets the full story, it becomes very clear as to how and even if he/she would like to proceed.

Another concern often expressed by people who might be interested in becoming a JRS is whether or not settling judgments is a dangerous job. Smiley is quick to say, “Not at all!” In all of her years in judgment recovery, Smiley and her colleagues have never felt threatened by a judgment debtor. In fact, a (JRS) has little to no direct contact with any debtor, as everything is handled anonymously through legal channels and post office boxes. In the few instances where she has actually contacted the debtor, she has viewed it as an opportunity to work out a mutually agreeable payment plan. “Many debtors have long since recovered financially from when the judgment was issued, but no one has found them yet and things have been left alone, so they don’t pay up until they have to,” she says. “Most of them are quite reasonable when they consider the effect not paying is having on their credit. Most people don’t want a debt hanging over them, so we offer them a way to get out of the mess they’re in,” she says.

Great Opportunity for any Economy


Judgment recovery is one of the very few fields in which people can be their own boss and where their success is not subject to fluctuations in the economy, be they good or bad. In a struggling economy, judgment debtors who have a decent job are not going to give it up just so they can avoid paying off their debts, especially if they can do it reasonably over time. And as for judgment holders, when the economy is on the fritz, they start coming out of the woodwork, which is great for the (JRS) . Of course, when times are good, well…they just are.

As for the JRS field itself, Smiley has noticed an upturn in the number of people interested in her incredibly affordable training program materials, which are widely recognized as some of the most respected and current in the industry. “I’ve had people I trained ten years ago get back in touch with me for my support in getting their own judgment recovery business up and running now that they can,” she says. “My offer of support still stands after all this time…at no charge.”

Asked about her tremendous dedication to training others, she explains, “I want to educate people in my field because it’s my passion. The dispassionate part of my response is that I don’t want anybody out there doing the wrong thing and then affecting our industry in a negative way.” Given that the JRS field is still evolving and growing so quickly, Smiley is doing her part to ensure that no JRS is violating current legislation in carrying out his/her mission. “There is carefully crafted legislation that regulates our industry and is designed to ensure that consumers are protected in all of this. Those laws are fair,”she says, “and they must be followed…for all our sakes.”

The way Smiley sees it, “The job market is uncertain right now; bad debt is not going away.” Given the current state of affairs, there’s a tremendous opportunity for any trained JRS to enforce unpaid debts on behalf of those who can’t or don’t know how to help themselves and to earn a good income while doing it. Smiley sums it up quite nicely…“Taking charge of your own financial destiny is important, especially when times are tough...and being a (JRS) is a great opportunity to do just that.”

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I had the pleasure of chatting with Shawn Pigg, CEO of Hotels Etc. for BusinessOpportunity.com's Podcast series that will be released very soon on our new Digital Platform.  Here is the transcript from that call for our regular RSS feed subscribers who get all of our posts first.

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