Enforce All Real Estate Related Judgments

Money judgments are an integral part of real estate litigation. For instance, a joint forcible entry and detainer action seeks a money judgment for unpaid rent as well as an order of possession. In a foreclosure action, if the successful bidder’s price at the Sheriff’s sale does not cover the outstanding loan balance, a deficiency judgment will be entered against the borrower for the amount of the difference.

In both cases the judgments are enforceable in most states for several years. In Illinois judgments are enforceable for seven years. With proper timing, they can be revived and extended for as long as 27 years, which is the case in Illinois. Mortgage lenders and landlords should seek to enforce those judgments.

Often the judgments are against multiple parties, some of whom may have assets with which to satisfy the judgment. Such judgment debtors are usually anxious to pay at least something in exchange for a release of the judgment against them.

I regularly pursue these judgments and have had much success recovering at least a portion of their principal amounts. I do so on a contingent fee basis, so that the client is only out of pocket for costs, such as garnishments and bank citations.

Collecting these judgments is a way to produce “found money.” Don’t overlook them!