Paying Off Civil Judgments

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What Is a Civil Judgment?

A lawsuit is initiated when a plaintiff files a complaint with the court. Depending on how the lawsuit proceeds, it can end in a win for the plaintiff. If this occurs, a civil judgment is filed against the defendant. A defendant may decide to avoid a wage garnishment by repaying the money.

Can I Make Payments to the Court?

No. A defendant wanting to make recurring payments must negotiate with the creditor directly.

Can I Make the Payment Directly with the Court?

Yes. The court where the lawsuit was filed does accept judgment payment. However, a defendant may still have to contact the creditor’s attorney first.

Some judgments have post-judgment interest. A defendant must contact the creditor’s attorney to receive the post-judgment interest amount.

What is Post-Judgment Interest?

Post-judgment interest is the amount of money that incurs after the judgment is entered into court records. The percentage varies by jurisdiction. The interest will keep growing until the judgment is paid.

Creditors may request post-judgment be added to the initial judgment amount. For example, a creditor wins a judgment for $600 and asks for post-judgment interest. If the post-judgment interest is three percent, the defendant owes $600 plus the post-judgment three percent interest.

Can I Avoid Paying Post-Judgment Interest?

A defendant can avoid paying post-judgment interest may negotiating with the creditor. Once the judgment is settled, the creditor is responsible for notifying the court the judgment is satisfied.

Can I File Bankruptcy to Avoid Repaying My Creditors?

Yes, a defendant can file bankruptcy to avoid paying the judgment and/or judgment interest, although some exceptions exist.

What Will Happen If the Creditor’s Attorney Won’t Tell Me the Interest Amount?

Talk to a lawyer regarding paying the judgment and finding out the post-judgment interest. The lawyer may be able to negotiate for you or file bankruptcy on your behalf.

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Last Modified: 03-16-2016 11:18 AM PDT

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