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Debt Judgement


A debt judgement is when a creditor sues you for a disputed unpaid debt and wins the case. The court then orders you to pay the disputed amount.

Debt collectors can be very aggressive individuals. Many times they feel they have to be because they are primarily paid on commission and if they don’t collect from you, they may not get paid.

Sometimes, however, they step over the line and threaten to seize your property or garnish your salary if you don’t pay them. Unless they have won a debt judgement against you in the local court system, however, they cannot do either. In fact, they may very well have broken the law.

If you strongly feel that a judgment was in error, you can file an appeal. The success of an appeal, however, is usually futile, and most likely will do nothing more than cost you more money. If you do choose to file an appeal, you have to do so within a certain amount of days after the original debt judgement. The statutes are different in various states as to how many days you have to file your appeal. If you miss that date, however, you are out of luck.

If a creditor sues you and you fail to show up in court, the result will most likely be a default debt judgement against you. This simply means that, because you failed to appear to contest the debt, the court gave the creditor the benefit of the doubt and ruled against you. If you have tried in good faith to make good on the debt, even if it resulted in late payments to the creditor, you should attend the court proceedings. It’s entirely possible that the court, recognizing your good faith in attempting to repay what you owe will convince the creditor to relax the terms of payment to a degree that you can afford.

In addition, although unlikely, a default debt judgement can be overruled by a higher court. If you were out of the country, or you had moved and never got the original notification to show up for court, or if for any reason you were not aware of the court date – you can request that your case be re-heard. If the court agrees, the judgment will be overturned. This does not, however, prevent the creditor from re-suing you for the same debt.

If relationship with your creditor has reached the point where you are being threatened with court action, or credit card judgements, the situation has obviously gone too far. If at all possible, you should make attempts to work out your issues and resolve the debt long before it reaches this point. Doing so will be much less expensive for you.


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