Below are some general guidelines of how long it typically takes to get a judgment and then collect in two different scenarios: Default Judgment (when the debtor does not fight the lawsuit) and Defended Lawsuit. The time frames below apply to about 85% of the cases we file. There can be exceptions, when things move very fast with no issues, or more frequently, when we struggle to serve debtors or they make things very difficult or we are in a very slow court jurisdiction.
As mentioned in the Defended Lawsuit section of the Collection Litigation Process, it does not take much effort or investment for a debtor to defend a lawsuit and delay the trial date a year or more. As such, we encourage clients to carefully evaluate any settlement offers in comparison to the litigation due to the delays, higher cost and uncertainty.