Settling, Dismissing, Vacating and More
Getting hit with a judgment is very scary. What happens after you have been sued and had a judgment won against you depends on the way you interpret this page. When a debt is in collections and you are served papers from the collection agency, you are given about 30 days to object to the filing if you have a cause. If you can prove that the debt is invalid you can get the hearing dismissed. Additionally, if an agency has sued you without giving you the mandatory 30 day notice to dispute the validity of a debt then that is a violation of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act.
But if the debt is yours and you know it then you should contact the Judgment Creditor (judgment creditor) as soon as you are served. You want to avoid the entry of judgment at all costs because it will simply ruin your credit. Mail (USPS registered return receipt mail) a request to the person suing you and offer a compromise to settle the debt in lieu of dismissing the case. If it's too late then you can still approach the Judgment Creditor and offer to settle the debt in exchange for him listing the judgment as "dismissed". He has all the power to do this so don't let him tell you otherwise. He simply fills out a form to dismiss it. Don't accept "judgment satisfied" if at all possible because that is still a credit killer and may remain on your credit reports for 7 years from DATE SATISFIED! Judgments are collectable for a number of years and usually renewable so technically it may sit on your credit forever.
If you have already been sued
If you are here because you have already been sued there are more than 20 reasons to vacate a judgment see: http://void-judgments.com/twenty_reasons.html One way to have a judgment vacated is to prove an improper service. This procedure dismisses the judgment if the person suing you did not file and serve you correctly. Otherwise a Judgment Creditor can garnish your wages, lien your property and generally make your life hell. The good news however is that they cannot take everything. Each state has a limit on the amount that can be garnished. A judgment creditor cannot take more than 25% of your take home pay. If there is more than one judgment against you, the others have to wait there turn to begin a wage levy.
Here's how it works:
A creditor sues you and either obtains a judgment or loses the case. If the judgment is entered against you, you can make arrangements to pay anytime. You may even ask the court for a 'debtor's examination of assets' (click link and select "consumer law" and your state to get the court form) to prove to the Judgment Creditor that you do not have the money. (Here is an example of the form for California).
After the judgment is entered the Judgment Creditor still has to put forth more money to garnish your wages or put a lien on your property. Many times a Judgment Creditor will sue you as security because he knows the judgment will go on your credit reports and will be there every time you go to get credit.
For more information about void judgments clock on the link below:
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