A judgment is a decision from a court as to the outcome of a civil lawsuit. When a money judgment is entered, it is a determination by a court that the defendant (judgment debtor) owes that money to the plaintiff. Having a judgment allows the plaintiff to use certain court-sanctioned processes to collect the judgment debt. In North Carolina, this includes execution on personal property and judgment liens on real estate.
When considering what to do about a judgment, it is useful to consider how that judgment might ultimately go way in the long term. I present in this post four ways that judgments go away in North Carolina.
Consumers with old debts or old judgments frequently receive offers to settle the debt, either by a lump sum payment or via series of (higher) installment payments. They might receive differ offers on the same debt over time, even from the same collector. Where do these numbers come from?
North Carolina is one of the few states that does not generally permit wage garnishment as a means to collect debts. Things like child support, taxes, and defaulted student loans are sometimes collected by garnishment, so it should be emphasized that wage garnishment does exist, it's just not broadly available.
In essence, money judgments are final orders entered by courts that a defendant in a lawsuit owes a certain sum to the plaintiff. They represent a particular stage of the life of a debt, and might arise from all manner of debts. Consumers are most often faced with judgments when a credit card lender or utility company successfully sues to collect an amount owed, an auto lender obtains a judgment following repossession of car worth less than the money owed, or a mortgage lender obtains a judgment following a foreclosure that fails to pay off the loan. The latter two are known as "deficiency judgments" and on the occasions that they are obtained, often surprise the debtor who thought losing their house or car was the end of that debt.
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Representing bankruptcy clients in the Raleigh, Wilson, and Durham divisions of the Eastern and Middle Districts of North Carolina.
While we endeavor to provide accurate general legal information on this website, the facts and circumstances of any individual's legal situation may vary, and the information we publish should not be taken as legal advice on any matter. Communication made via this website does not create an attorney client relationship. Attorneys licensed exclusively in North Carolina.
Per 11 U.S.C. §528(a)(4), Fabricius & Fabricius PLLC is a debt relief agency. We are proud to assist individuals, families, & small businesses seeking bankruptcy relief in North Carolina.