Sometimes, a house becomes too expensive for its owners to continuing living in and paying the mortgage. Changes in income can make what was once affordable now unmanageable. Problems with a house or mortgage terms can push the cost of ownership beyond one's means. Sometimes, there are opportunities to work things out the mortgage. Other times, the smart decision is to walk away from the house and allow the bank to foreclose.
A judgment (or judgement) is final order of a court granting relief in favor of one party against another. A money judgment is a determination that a defendant owes an amount of money to the plaintiff. A holder of a judgment is entitled to use legal process to obtain property from the defendant/judgment debtor.
Frequently Asked Questions
Our frequently asked questions also address Judgment:
No. There is significant variety in the nature of judgments and how they are affected by a bankruptcy case. Notable questions are whether a judgment lien exists against the debtor's property and whether the judgment concerns an underlying not-dischargeable debt.
North Carolina residents are fortunate to not have to routinely deal with wage garnishment. For most ordinary debts, such as credit cards, vehicle repossession deficiency balances, and private medical bills, North Carolina law does not permit wage garnishment as a means to collect the debt. However, North Carolinians sometimes find themselves having their wages garnished on order of another state's courts.
Credit card lenders and their debt collectors obtain a large number of judgments each year. By obtaining a credit card judgment, the lender gains the ability to use judicial process to sell the borrower's property or seize money out of bank accounts. The lender with a judgment can attempt to collect for 10 years or more. While credit card judgments themselves are seldom an impediment to bankruptcy, judgments that have become judgment liens required special considerations.
We have discussed Judgment in the following posts on our bankruptcy blog:
Whether it involves a credit card, a hospital bill or other medical bill, or another personal loan, collections lawsuits against consumers have one thing in common: a creditor is demanding money from a person who is unable or unwilling to pay. By filing suit, the creditor seeks a judgment which will entitle them to use certain legal processes to obtain money or property from the defendant consumer. A summons and complaint, served on the defendant, starts the process for the lawsuit. Often, receipt of these documents leads the consumer to ask what they should do?
A judgment is effective as a lien against all of the judgment debtor's real property in the county of the judgment or any other county where the judgment has been transcribed into the official records. The lien is effective both with respect to property owned at the time of the judgment, as well as property acquired after the judgment. A bankruptcy discharge will void the future application of a judgment, preventing it from attaching to property acquired after bankruptcy. However, a discharge does not itself get rid of an existing judgment lien.