I used to be a revenue officer for the IRS before becoming a lawyer. The revenue officers are the IRS personnel that do things like seizing houses, cars, etc to collect unpaid federal taxes, among other civil enforcement action. I heard taxpayers tell me all the time "hey, I'm just about to file for bankruptcy" to try to get me to back off. Ninety percent of them never filed for bankruptcy. So when you are collecting money, don't pay any attention to those kinds of statements. Just keep collecting as best you can. Either he files bankruptcy or he doesn't. If he does (which I doubt given the little you've said about his circumstances) then when you get notice of it, you stop collecting and put in your proof of claim and see if you ever get anything. If doesn't, which is the more likely situation, you've not wasted time sitting around to see if he files bankruptcy. Moreover, if he filed bankruptcy and got served with your complaint, his bankruptcy lawyer would tell him to file a motion with the court to stay the proceedings pending the outcome of the bankruptcy. That he hasn't done that tells me there's no active bankruptcy action going on.quite possible. he told me he would probably have to file for bankruptcy but i would have no way of officially confirming that other than I have attempted to search for it on PACER if I'm doing it correctly.
Quite right. And all the more reason to get the judgment now rather than later. It's the collectors who get to the debtors first that have the best chance of getting paid. Among other things, if you file a lien for your judgement, the order of liens determines order of payout when secured/liened assets are sold in bankruptcy and often outside bankruptcy too. Don't wait around for some other creditor to get in line before you do.But you cannot be confident that your defendant(s) won’t file for bankruptcy in the future, after you get a judgment. That is a risk you take.