Shoestring Startups

Judgment Recovery Service

Often, winning a case in small claims court is much easier than collecting on the judgment. Much like collections agents, judgment recovery specialists go after unpaid claims, charging a percentage of the claim as a fee. Judgments for property damage and uninsured auto accidents make up most of the business for Christina Smiley, a former collections agent who started Sierra Judgment Recovery in South Lake Tahoe, California, three years ago. Smiley earns 40 percent to 50 percent of each judgment she recovers, which added up to $80,000 last year.

Start-Up Cost: $200

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This article was originally published in the April 1998 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Shoestring Startups.

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