Collecting a Judgment

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Collecting a Judgment-What a Farce!

Most people think, you go to court, you win, you collect. Not so fast. You, the winner, are responsible for gathering information to be able to collect. It starts with the full and correct company name. Maybe you are lucky and can get a bank account number to garnish. But don’t expect our government to help you at all. They are oblivious to the plight of the consumer in these situations. Here is an example.

Seven years ago I had a claim against Verizon. Verizon fastidiously hides from lawsuits through a maze of corporate shenanigans. I sent the summons to one of their repair buildings I had passed for years. I named them on the summons as Verizon. That is the name on the building, and the only name on my monthly bill. The sneaky bastards do not even list a street address for their company, either on their bill or in the phone book, or on-line. They only use post office boxes to which a summons cannot be legally served. That is how they hide from legitimate claims. They never showed, and I won a judgment. I gave it to the local sheriff to collect (you as the winner must find a sheriff or constable to collect for you, who charges a fee whether he collects or not). In this case, he tossed it back at me saying that the tenant at that Verizon location was not Verizon, but some other name. What the bastards at Verizon do is set up shell companies to own or lease their buildings, and so when the sheriff goes he cannot prove that Verizon has assets there. So I was stuck.

Luckier New Yorkers. There, you can sue the publicly known name, like Verizon only. And collect on that basis. In New Jersey the judgment name must be letter perfect but the consumer has no way of finding out what that name is. Big lawsuits are also served on corporate agents, which all corporations are required to have. But in the case of Verizon, they have a myriad of companies with the name Verizon a part of them. You have no idea which is the entity to sue, and if you guess right, you have no idea where that particular entity has assets. So these cigar-chomping, private golf club member, jet riding executives of Verzion have a good laugh at the little guy they have cheated.

What is needed is a federal law, that the judgment name (the one you sue) need not be letter perfect, and that all invoices nationwide shall have the full corporate name and street address of the company billing someone for services. So the little guy knows what the correct name is, and where a judgment can be collected. There should also be a provision allowing triple damages to the judgment holder if a company seeks to evade its responsibility to pay up.

It’s a complicated issue, but as things stand now, the consumer is on the short end of the stick too many times. And I am always happy when someone wins something against Verizon and their battery of attorneys, or gets the best of that rotten firm in another way.