Andrew L. Quiat (“Andy”)

Can Your Firm Help Me Collect a Judgment From A Debt Located In Another State?


Our firm can help you collect a judgment from a debt in another state. When you say a debt located in another state, I interpret this as meaning a judgment on a debt that has arisen from an order of the court in another state. If I am in Colorado and you are in Texas, and you’ve secured your judgment from a Texas court, I can help you collect it. In the United States, by virtue of the full faith and credit clause or the United States constitution, the final orders and judgments of any state must be recognized and enforced fully by every other state in the country, and there is a mechanism for doing this. We used to do it by a particular form of lawsuit in each state into which we wanted to go. Now, all states have the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act, which is a very simple and quick procedure through which, in essence, I can take a judgment from one state and register it in another state very quickly and easily.

In that jurisdiction, we can easily proceed with collection using the tools that the sister state makes available. In a federal judgment, I can quickly and easily register in any other federal district. I can also take a federal judgment, and register it in a state court. However, I cannot take a state court judgment and register it in a federal court. We can and we do collect judgments from throughout the country and abroad. What dictates where you want to go, and how you want to proceed, are the particular facts of your case, the particular activities of your debtor, the organization or the asset structure the debtor has created to try and hide assets, and where and how the debtor does business. Most of the time we often look at interstate collection efforts on a simultaneous basis. This is designed to exert pressure upon a debtor, in order to make him or her to realize that there is a serious business problem, and the sooner they deal with it, the sooner they can have us out of their lives.

Internationally, we can proceed to have judgments recognized in most foreign jurisdictions, or we can take judgments of other foreign countries and have them recognized here. However, there are some countries that have such procedures or mechanisms in place, or are subject to such levels of corruption, that I would caution you not to do it. There are places where you can spend a couple of years and a lot of money to get to a point of having some form of magistrate lower the gavel, recognizing your judgment in his or her country. As that’s happening, someone in the courtroom with a laptop and a wireless mobile hotspot connection will push a button, and before the gavel hits, that person will transfer the assets out of that foreign bank account, transit it through two or three other countries, and the monies may come to rest in a South American country.

You then get to start your search and chase all over again. That’s not too exciting. When we have jurisdictions like that, we will tell you don’t even bother going there. However, there are plenty of jurisdictions where that is not tolerated, and where we can operate most effectively. I am looking at a situation now, which is a foreign judgment involving a foreign government, a judgment against an entity controlled by a foreign government. I’m trying to figure out if I can have it recognized here to such a degree that I can go seize some of its foreign airplanes when they are within this country. That’s the sort of thing that makes my work interesting and keeps me very involved with it, which is generally to my client’s benefit.

Disclaimer: This website contains general information about legal matters. The information is not legal advice, and should not be treated as such. Quiat Legal makes no representations or warranties in relation to the information on this website.

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