When you are in debt, there are many things to worry about. You may be concerned about the outcome of your debt, what will happen to your credit score, and even how you will make your monthly payments. Another thing you may not consider is whether or not you have any judgments against you.
If a creditor sues you for debt, and they are successful, the creditor may get a judgment against you. Judgments are serious and can have a lasting impact on your finances. It can even lead to wage garnishment or seizure of assets.
However, the worst situation is when you have a judgment against you that you are unaware of.
You can find out if this is the case by doing a simple search. This article will tell you how.
What does a Judgment Mean for You?
When a creditor obtains a judgment against you, it means they have won the case. The court has found that you owe the creditor the amount of money they are claiming.
Usually, when a court files any judgment against you, they will send you various notices. This includes a notice of the Judgment, a summons to appear in court, and a writ of execution. Although it is difficult for a creditor to get a judgment against you without knowing, it is not impossible.
However, it is important to take action immediately when you receive a summons to appear in court. Ignoring them will only make the situation worse. If you do not respond to the lawsuit, the creditor will likely get a default judgment against you. A default judgment is a judgment in favor of the creditor, even if you did not have a chance to defend yourself.
This means they can take specific actions to recover the money you owe them.
A judgment can have a number of consequences for you, including:
- Wage garnishment: If you owe a creditor money, they can ask the court to order your employer to withhold a certain amount of your wages each week until the debt is paid.
- Asset seizure: The creditor can ask the court to order the seizure of your assets to sell and use the money to pay off your debt.
- Credit score damage: A judgment will likely hurt your credit score, making it more difficult to obtain loans or credit in the future.
- Liens: A creditor can place a lien on your property, making it difficult to sell or refinance. A judgment lien will stay on your credit report for seven years.
So, how do you find out if you have any judgments against you? There are a few ways to do this.
How to Search for a Judgment Against You
Call the Court Clerk
If you were served a summons and you did not appear in court, the creditor may have obtained a default judgment against you. You can call the court clerk in the county where the lawsuit was served and ask for information about any judgment.
You may need to provide the court clerk with the following information:
- The name of the creditor
- The case number
The easiest way to find out if you have any judgments against you is to call the court clerk in the region where the lawsuit was served.
Check the Mail
You may receive a notice in the mail from the court if a judgment is entered against you. in some cases, you may change your address without realizing that the court has not updated their records. In that way, you may not receive any notices about the Judgment.
Look for Wage Garnishment Papers
If the creditor has begun wage garnishment proceedings against you, they will send you a writ of garnishment notifying you of this.
Typically, this paperwork will be sent to your last known address and will provide information about the creditor who obtained the Judgment and the amount you owe.
In some cases, you may not have received any notices about the Judgment because of an incorrect mailing address or other communication error. You may notice the creditor or a collection agency removing money from your paychecks to pay off your debt.
Handling a Judgment
If you have discovered that a creditor has obtained a judgment against you, it is critical to take action immediately. Remember, a judgment can have serious consequences for your finances and credit score.
There are a few things you can do to try to resolve the situation:
- Negotiate with the creditor to see if they will reduce the amount you owe
- Set up a payment plan with the creditor
- Appeal the Judgment if you believe it was obtained unfairly
- Apply for loan relief
- File for bankruptcy.
If you have any suspicions that a creditor may have obtained a judgment against you, it is important to take action immediately. There are a number of ways to find out, and you may be able to resolve the situation without going to court. However, it’s always best to respond to a lawsuit before a judgment is entered against you.