Before you begin a debt collection case, you should be familiar with your debtor’s background and in particular, their assets. This is typically done before any lawsuit is begun.
A determination that the debtor owns property can easily be established by checking the County records, where the debtor resides to see if property is owned. If so, with real estate, comes furnishings, electronics, automobiles and other items of personalty that can be executed upon to satisfy a Judgment. Executing on real estate is a long and expensive process and should only be used if the amount due warrants it and there is sufficient equity in the real estate.
Another area to research is to determine whether or not this debtor has been involved in other lawsuits. Again, by checking the County records, you can determine the history of cases that has been filed against the Defendant. If there are many and they are not satisfied, this would be somebody that you would not want to pursue because there are too many creditors ahead of you. Alternatively, a lawsuit or two, particularly, if it is satisfied, would demonstrate a sense of responsibility attached to your debtor. In addition to the County records, it is always recommended to utilize the various social media platforms where you can oftentimes determine what businesses and activities your debtor is involved in. While these may not show up on Court records, they can be equally important in terms of finding assets.
These are representative of preliminary steps that should be taken to “qualify” your debtor and determine whether or not your client should proceed with a collection case.