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Options to Consider when a Judgment is Entered Against You

Options when a judgment is entered against you - Brevard County Bankruptcy

Responding to a Judgment – Brevard County Bankruptcy

Many people who fall behind on their bills feel overwhelmed when creditors start filing collection lawsuits against them. In fact, it is not uncommon for people to simply ignore the lawsuits and hope they will simply go away. This tactic never works! As soon as you are served with a petition or complaint against you, confer with an attorney so you understand all of your options.

Once a creditor has obtained a court judgment against you, it is important to understand there are still different ways to deal with it. While no two cases are identical and you should always seek legal advice regarding your specific situation, below are a few options to consider:

Personal bankruptcy. If you are feeling overwhelmed by your debt, filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy may allow you to discharge or cancel a collection judgment entered against you. Again, you should consult with a debt relief lawyer to confirm that the type of judgment entered against you will be discharged, but this could save you thousands of dollars!

Wait and see. If you are reluctant to file a personal bankruptcy, you may consider waiting and seeing what actions the creditor pursues after obtaining the judgment against you. Of course, there is substantial risk involved depending upon your unique situation. In fact, this course of action (or inaction) is only suggested if you are considered to be “judgment proof.” In other words, you do not own any non-exempt property or other means for the creditor to be able to collect the judgment from you. Additionally, if the creditor fails to take any action to enforce or renew its judgment against you, the judgment will eventually expire.

Negotiate and settle. Don’t make the mistake of believing your settlement options are over once a judgment has been entered against you. Many creditors are still willing to settle your debt post-judgment in order to avoid incurring the expenses associated with trying to collect from you. Thus, you may be able to pay off the judgment for less than the full amount. In some cases, you may be allowed to set-up a payment plan to satisfy the judgment. Just remember, you must obtain a court-stamped satisfaction of judgment in order for the unpaid judgment notation to be removed from your record!

Contact Faro & Crowder, PA today for a free initial consultation

Call us today to schedule your initial consultation. Our office is located in Melbourne on Sarno Road, but we proudly serve individuals and businesses across the State of Florida.


Don’t Ignore a Collection Lawsuit!

Don't Ignore Lawsuit pic

Being served with a collection lawsuit can be intimidating. While many people are tempted to ignore it because they don’t want to deal with the hassle or they assume they owe the debt anyway so there is nothing they can do. However, failing to respond to the lawsuit can result in the creditor obtaining a default judgment against you. This means that the court assumes that you agree with everything the creditor alleged in the petition. Once the plaintiff is granted a judgment against you, the creditor or debt collector can commence collection efforts against you.

A creditor who has a judgment against you can attempt to collect money from you by garnishing your wages, levying your bank account, and/or recording a judgment lien against your house. In contrast, if you respond to the lawsuit, you provide yourself the opportunity to have the lawsuit dismissed or negotiate a settlement of the debt for a lower amount.

It is common for borrowers who are struggling financially to want to avoid the cost of retaining an attorney. However, many studies have revealed that the vast majority of debtors who have a default judgment entered against them did not have a lawyer assisting them in defending their collection lawsuit. In other words, simply by having an attorney represent you in the lawsuit can drastically increase the likelihood of obtaining a successful outcome.

It is important to understand that even if you are pretty certain you owe the debt to the plaintiff, there are still numerous valid defenses that might be available to you. Whatever you do, don’t ignore a lawsuit. If you are interested in learning more about how we can help you fight a debt collection lawsuit, contact one of our seasoned bankruptcy attorneys to schedule your appointment.


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