Debt Collection A to Z: J is for Judgment

Debt collectors and creditors love judgments.  Not as much as they love money but pretty close.  Judgments can be the final chapter of a long tussle to get a debtor to pay on a debt.  Judgments provide debt collectors and creditors with some leverage and additional remedies.  Consequently judgments usually mean the closing of many doors for debtors.

If you owe on a debt and are sued you should immediately consult legal counsel.  You do not want to try to figure out when and how to respond to the Complaint or lawsuit no matter how short or simple it may appear. Using the wrong language or leaving out certain things can prejudice your rights….this is especially the case if you have counterclaims.  Harassment, misstatement of amounts due, and failure to possess certain documents can be fertile ground for dismissal of the claims against you and possible money for you.

Too often I am contacted by people who are facing a motion for summary judgment or similar hearing at which the creditor or debt collector is a short stop away from obtaining a judgment.  And on some occasions I am contacted by folks who have already had judgment entered against them and are very likely out of options for contesting the debt.  In these and far too many other situations the proverbial fat lady has sung on valuable protections for the person who owes the money.

In North Carolina a civil judgment is valid for 10 years and can be renewed once for another 10 years.  There is a limited amount of time and number of reasons for persons to seek the set aside of a judgment so it is best to be proactive than reactive.  If you find yourself facing a lawsuit or judgment regarding a debt—or any other legal matter—your best bet is to consult an experienced civil attorney as soon as you can.


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