What happens if you don't pay a court judgement?


Quick Answer

If a court judgment goes unpaid, the debtor has the right to initiate collection proceedings, says Lawyers.com. The debtor can start the proceedings after 30 days have passed with no payment.

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Full Answer

Once a creditor is successful in obtaining a judgment against a debtor, the creditor can take steps to garnish wages or seize assets, reports Credit.com. A judgment also allows the creditor to take other measures to collect a debt, such as wage garnishment, explains Lawyers.com. Creditors also have the right to ask banks to seize the debtor's bank account, notes Nolo. Any measures taken by a creditor to collect a debt on a judgment must conform to mandated consumer protection laws.

If a creditor is seeking collection through wage garnishment, the court orders the garnishment and this process is continued until the debt is paid, states Lawyers.com. There are limits to the amount withheld from wages. In instances when a large amount of money is owed, certain property can be seized. This includes real estate and vehicles. It's also possible that those who owe judgments and fail to pay risk suspension of their drivers licenses. In some states professional licenses can be suspended. A debtor may consider setting up a payment plan to streamline the payment process, notes Lawyers.com.

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