I wanted to ask for insight on collection-related matters in CA. I had to evict my tenants and obtained a judgement from the court for unpaid rent. I am assigning this judgement to a collection agency.
Now the property has been fixed up and I was going to file a separate claim against the ex-tenants via Small Claims for the damages they caused.
The collection agency is telling me that I do not necessarily have to file a separate Small Claims case for the damages, they could do the collection for that without the Small Claims judgement. This is something I have not heard of and always thought judgement would be needed for collections.
Does anyone have any experience with this in CA? Thanks!
They are taking your repair costs and simply adding them to the judgment. I do not know how your judgment reads but it sounds like they are counting on the ignorance of the former tenant to pay the whole amount; judgment and costs (including the repairs).
It sounds like they have determined that the judgment is collectible - good for you!
From my understanding, a court judgement is a legal document stating that money is owed. With this document, there are options (though sometimes limited) in collecting that may include placing a lien on real property, placing a levy on a bank account and garnishing wages.
An account (in this case, a tenant) that has a balance due (bill from property damages) may be sent to a collections agency who may try to persuade it is the debtor's best interest to pay or settle the debt. They may report the debt to the credit bureaus which results in lowering the debtor's credit score. Before any statute of limitations runs out on the debt, they may try to take the debtor to court and get a court judgement.