What Happens When You Have a Judgement Against You?

What happens after the court has issued a judgement against an individual depends on whether the individual pays it or not. If he pays the amount in full, the case is settled, and no further action can be taken against him.

Paying the judgement in full within 30 days keeps the individual from paying any more interest or court fees. If he does not pay the debt in full, or make arrangements to do so, the creditor has a few options to get its money. The creditor can send notice to the individual's employer to send a portion of his wages directly to the creditor before paying him. If he owns any property, a lien may be placed against it. If he sells the property, the judgement is paid before he receives any proceeds from the sale.

If the debt was related to a business expense, the creditor may be able to have any licenses involved with the business suspended. An individual's vehicle registration and driver's license may be suspended if the debt was caused by a car accident.

An individual may be able to file a claim of exemption with the court to have any garnishments reduced or removed. However, for this to be approved, he must prove that all his income is required to provide the basic necessities of support for his family.