Collecting on a Back Rent Judgement

4 Replies | Boston, Massachusetts

I went to court to evict some renters that had not paid rent for several months. While in the process of this eviction, they left. I still proceeded with the eviction so I could collect a back rent judgement. They never showed up for court and I was granted a judgement for $5500. I used a lawyer to help me through this process and it cost about $1500.

So now what do I do to collect this money? I'm am hesitant to pay for anymore legal help because I'm not sure I will ever see any money from these people. Is there something I can do on my own? Are there any collection agency's I could turn this debt over to?

I have tried looking online on the housing court website, but I don't really understand what I have to do.

Any insight you have would be appreciated! 

Find a collections attorney and work out a deal where they'll keep a portion of what they recover.  I had a deadbeat last year and we went to court.  We came to an agreement where they promised to be out by the end of the week and pay ~$3k to us.  They followed through on the first, and you can guess what happened when it was time to make payments.  A month later we got the judgement from the court.

We turned it over to a collections attorney who charged us $150 for expenses, and 40% of all monies collected.  This was fine with us, as we never expected to see anything, but about 6 months later, we started getting checks.  

I don't like to gloat over someone who is down, but the joy I get out of the $187.20 I've been getting every month from a tenant who took advantage, used the system to fight a lawful eviction, and lied is well worth the amount the attorney takes.

YMMV, I've only had one eviction in the last decade and although we lost money and time, I do feel that we're getting some justice.

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Originally posted by @Sayra Chorey :

Brendon - that is exactly where I'm at! I was so accommodating and the renter kept breaking promises. I'm done being nice.

 We weren't over accommodating, but rather between the time we gave the 3 day notice to the time they exited the property was about 3 months.  They knew the system and used delaying tactics.