Court orders for payment of a debt can cause considerable financial distress. If you have a judgment against you, call the attorney who obtained the judgment to learn about your options for repayment.
A creditor has the right to file a lawsuit against you if you fail to pay a debt. However, many debtors are not aware of the possible consequences for not responding to a judgment, such as loss of income and assets, and a consumer credit standing. While this is sure to create many financial obstacles, there are ways to resolve debt problems, even after a judgment.
What is a Court Order?
A judgment is a court order, and is a legal directive obtained by a creditor to collect payment of consumer debt. The judgment is a matter of public record enforceable for 10 years, and can remain on consumer credit records for up to 10 years. In most cases, interest is also charged with the amount owed.
Since it is not guaranteed that a judgment will result in a debt being paid, many creditors will attempt to collect debt in other ways, such as wage garnishment and asset seizure. If you have been notified of a lawsuit filed against you, or already have a judgment against you, there are actions you can take to deal with your debt before collectors pursue further legal action.
- Fight Your Lawsuit – If you ignore your debt and fail to defend yourself, a default judgment will be entered against you. If you have enough money to pay off the debt in full by the time you are requested to appear in court, your attorney can help you put together the evidence the judge needs to satisfy the judgment.
- Settle Your Debt – If you have a judgment against you, there are other methods to settle your court-ordered payment with the creditor. Most debt collectors are aware that a significant amount of court ordered payment of debt goes uncollected and, therefore, might be willing to negotiate a settlement agreement. Low-income debtors whose wages cannot be garnished and assets cannot be legally seized might be able to work with creditors to settle their debt through a payment plan or by paying a percentage of the amount owed. All terms of a settlement should be clearly spelled out in writing with a signed copy and should state that the consumer will not owe any more money after the agreed payments are made.
- Remove Your Judgment – If you are sued for a debt that is not yours, there are actions you can take to remove the judgment. If you are not responsible for the debt or have already paid your creditors, you have the right to contact the debt collection agency and request validation. If the debt has expired or cannot be verified, it will be removed.
- Seek Legal Help – Do not wait until you have a lawsuit against you to start handling your debt. The McHughes Law Firm debt collection attorneys will advise about your options for court ordered payment of debt and work directly with you to resolve the matter.
If you need help determining the best plan of action to resolve your debt, contact The McHughes Law Firm and schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced debt collection attorneys, at 501-376-9131.