Articles Posted in Bankruptcy & Creditor Rights

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By Stephen J. Muhonen, Creditor’s Rights / Collections Attorney, Racine Olson, PLLP

As a judgment holder, it goes without saying that attempting to collect upon that judgment can be terribly frustrating, cumbersome, and unfruitful.  Said otherwise, sometimes the process is just an emotional and physical drain.  You invested so much time, effort and energy to get your judgment, just to find out that the judgment debtor won’t voluntarily pay as owed.  Then, to add insult to injury, you find out his/her/its assets are located in another state.  So now what?

Fortunately, Idaho has in place a statutory mechanism that allows foreign judgments to be domesticated, enforced and collected upon in Idaho.  For purposes of this discussion, “foreign judgment” is “any judgment, decree or order of a court of the United States or of any other court or an order of an administrative body of any state regarding the support of a child, spouse, or former spouse or the establishment of paternity which is entitled to full faith and credit in this state.”  See Idaho Code §10-1301.  Idaho also has the Uniform Foreign Country Money Judgments Recognition Act and the Uniform Foreign-Money Claims Act, neither of which are discussed herein.

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By Stephen J. Muhonen, Creditor’s Rights / Collections Attorney, Racine Olson, PLLP

Have you ever been the victim of a crime?  Ughhh!  It can be so frustrating!  First there is the event itself that caused your property to be either stolen, injured or damaged.  This is where one is first “victimized” by the bad guy or at-fault party.  Next, the person is charged with a crime and then, generally, after a few months, maybe even much longer, the case is adjudicated and the judge orders the prosecuting attorney to submit any claim(s) for restitution.  As the victim you collect receipts, get bids, obtain estimates, obtain other proof of loss and provide them to the prosecuting attorney.  The prosecutor then submits your damages to the court, which the defendant can then contest as to the amount due and owing.  Once the dust settles on the dispute (if any) as to how much is owed by the defendant to the victim, the court then enters its Order of Restitution or Judgment.  It is at this time where the victim of the crime can often feel victimized again.

Sometimes the defendant abides by the judgment or order imposed against him/her and pay as obligated.  Sometimes they pay it in one lump sum.  Sometimes they make the payments a little bit at a time over a certain period of probation; and sometimes they don’t pay it at all.  So you contact the prosecuting attorney who can then provide notice to the court that the defendant is not paying as ordered and ask the judge to find that the defendant is in violation of the terms and conditions of his/her probation.  Unfortunately, the most a judge can do is hold the defendant in contempt or in violation of probation and have him/her incarcerated.  Hopefully this gets the defendant’s attention, but it does not put money in your pocket.  So, what are your alternatives?

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By Stephen J. Muhonen, Creditor’s Rights / Collections Attorney, Racine Olson, PLLP

Congratulations!  You won your court case and now have a money judgment entered in your favor.  All of that time, effort, emotional energy, attorney fees and costs incurred, and just the drain of the process has finally funneled to a conclusion where a court has concluded you are entitled to money from the adverse party.  It’s a great day! Or is it?  You or your attorney have approached the liable party for payment, but they won’t pay.  All of that time, effort, money and energy spent for what?  How are you going to get them to pay up?

Judgment Creditors in Idaho have multiple resources to draw upon in attempt to satisfy their judgment when insurance resources are not available.  Those options include:

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By Joseph G. Ballstaedt

When deciding whether to sue a person or entity, you must be aware that the person or entity may not be able to pay a judgment awarded by a court or may be able to avoid paying the judgment, even if it has the means to pay. A resounding victory in court is utterly worthless if the opposing party is “judgment proof” because it has no assets, little equity in a home or other real property, minimal personal property, no job or source of income, etc. Similarly, even if a party has enough assets to satisfy the judgment, it can hide the assets. Also, a party can file for bankruptcy and be discharged from many of its debts, including most types of civil judgments, leaving a party to fight in bankruptcy proceedings for recovery. Many parties use the threat of bankruptcy as leverage to attain a favorable settlement agreement outside of court.

However, although parties who go bankrupt t are ones that will likely have difficulty finding funds to repay debts, bankruptcy does not legally free a party from all debts and civil judgments. Federal law explains that a bankruptcy does not discharge certain debts, including but not limited to debts for:

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