Debt enforecement
 min read

Do I get paid if I win in court?

Let’s say you are owed some money. The person or company owing you the money completely disagrees, although it’s evident in your mind.

You then take action, start a lawsuit, and take it to court.

Now, one or two years later, the big day has arrived. You’re in court.

Because your case is so clear, you win the case. The judge agrees with you.

You won!

Now, you have to get paid…

Getting paid after winning in court

This moment is when many get a surprise.

Winning does not equal getting paid.

You just spent a lot of time and money on your lawyer. Yes, the judge decided the debtor has to pay for your fees too. But … No cash arrives.

And this brings us to a very typical problem:

Just because you win in court does not mean you get paid.

The problem with winning in court is that it doesn’t mean the debtor can afford to pay you. Why are you not getting paid after winning in court?

It’s not uncommon for the debtors to dispute the debt in the first place because they know they couldn’t pay. Of course, it’s a bad idea because it only adds more costs to the case – but if you don’t have the money, many go to extreme lengths.

Multiple things can play in. Maybe the debtor went bankrupt, and you can’t get your money. Perhaps the debtor keeps escaping the legal system.

The point of this post is:
Don’t equate winning a lawsuit with getting paid. Winning a case is expensive, and you have your own lawyer cost. Indeed, the judge often demands the debtor to pay their legal fees, but if the debtor never pays, it doesn’t matter. Your lawyer will still send you the invoice.

The question then is – what to do instead?
Proactive follow-ups, sending reminders early and being aggressive on your collection help. But it is tough to avoid specific debtors that know the system. It’s honestly hard to avoid.


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