What is a judgment? How does it affect me? And what can I do about it?
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What is a judgment? How does it affect me? And what can I do about it?

If you already have a judgment, or if you are currently being sued and the lawsuit might result in a judgment, you might be wondering…

  • What, exactly, is a judgment?
  • What will happen to me if I get a judgment against me?
  • And what can I do if I already have a judgment against me?

Here are the basics from our Houston debt settlement attorney:

A judgment is a court order that requires you to pay the debt

Having a judgment for the debt is different from, and much worse than, just owing the debt.

If you just owe a debt, but you don’t have a judgment for it, the creditor can harass you over the phone and send you bills and threatening letters (all of which can be very unpleasant), but they can’t really do anything to you other than that.

If, on the other hand, you have a judgment against you for an unpaid debt, the creditor can seize and liquidate your assets (“take your stuff”), subject to certain limitations, in order to get paid.

With a judgment, the creditor can seize your assets

With a judgment, the creditor can seize your assets, subject to certain limitations, in order to get paid.  You may think that you don’t have any actual, physical assets that the creditor can seize, and you may be right about that, but they can still…

  • Garnish Your Bank Accounts:  With a judgment, the creditor can garnish your bank accounts.  This means that they can freeze your bank accounts (all of them) and take all your money.
  • File Lien Papers in the Real Property Records: The creditor can file an “abstract of judgment” in the real property records, which can cloud the title to your home.  It will be difficult or impossible to sell your home or refinance your mortgage until the judgment is released.
  • Subpoena You to Appear at a Deposition:  The creditor can subpoena you to appear at a deposition and require you to bring documentation about your bank accounts and other assets with you.  Once they get the information about your assets, they will use that information to seize whatever assets they can seize.

A judgment will damage your credit

A judgment is one of the worst things you can have on your credit report.  And it can remain on your credit report for at least 7 years, and possibly much longer.  Click here for more information.

If you are being sued, but you don’t have a judgment yet, you should get your lawsuit taken care of so that it does not result in a judgment

Our debt settlement attorney can help you with your lawsuit.  We have successfully defeated over 3000 debt lawsuits.  If we defeat yours, then you won’t get a judgment against you, and you won’t have to worry about bank account garnishments or real property liens or being subpoenaed or anything like that.

If you already have a judgment, we can help you resolve it

If you already have a judgment, we can help you resolve it to prevent the creditor from taking further collection action against you.  Depending on your circumstances, we may be able to get the judgment set aside or cancelled.  If getting the judgment set aside is not a possibility, then we can help you settle your judgment and get it released.  In cases where we have to settle judgments, we can usually settle the judgment for much less than the amount owed.

If you are trying to sell your house, but can’t because of a judgment, we can help you get the judgment released so that you can sell your house

Once the creditor files an “abstract of judgment” in the county property records, the judgment creates a lien on any real estate you own in the county.  With respect to your homestead property, an abstract of judgment creates a “cloud on the title” to your property, which is technically different from a “lien,” but that’s a distinction without a difference if you’re trying to sell your house or refinance your mortgage.  You can’t do either one, until and unless the lien is released.

Fortunately, Texas law allows you to get the lien released, at least as to your homestead.  The whole process only takes 30-40 days, and sometimes much less.  And when it’s done you can sell your house your house and keep the proceeds, or refinance your mortgage, all without paying the judgment first.

Get a free consultation

Give our debt relief attonrey a call at 844.334.4566 or fill out the contact form.  We can review your lawsuit or judgment with you and go over your options.  The consultation is free, and there is no obligation.