Glossary of Construction Collection Terms

Expert Witness

An expert witness is a person permitted to testify at trial because of special knowledge or experience in a particular field that is relevant to the case. Expert witness are permitted to give opinion testimony, Construction experts are commonly hired by plaintiffs and defendants in construction litigation.


A court document that states the amount that the court has determined that a debtor owes.

Judgment, Court Judgment

A judgment is a decision of a court regarding the rights and obligations of parties to a lawsuit. Judgments often provide the court’s explanation of why it has decided to render its decision. Generally, a judgment will state that one of the parties to a lawsuit owes the other party a specific amount of money. Courts do not enforce judgment. If not paid, judgment creditors often retain a judgment collection firm to collect the amount owing by means of an assignment of judgment.

Judgment Creditor

A party to a lawsuit, who was awarded a court judgment against another party.

Judgment Debt

The total amount that will pay off the judgment, including: (a) the original debt; (b) and pre-judgment interest, court costs and other charges; and (c) any interest and court costs after judgment.

Mechanic’s Lien

A mechanic’s lien is a recorded document that gives a claimant a security interest in the improved property that may be foreclosed if the claim is not paid.


To help the parties to a dispute to reach a voluntary settlement of the dispute.

Original Contractor, or Prime Contractor, or Direct Contractor

An original contractor, or prime contractor, is a contractor that has a direct contract with the owner. An original contractor may become a claimant.


The owner refers to the property owner whose real property is improved by a potential lien claimant.

Payment Bond

A payment bond is a bond quarantining payment for labor and materials if the principal, usually the prime contractor or owner, defaults.