A civil judgment is a ruling against a defendant in a court of law. It refers to a non-criminal legal matter and often requires the defendant to pay damages. Damages are generally money amounts.
When a plaintiff wants to sue a defendant, a complaint is filed with the jurisdiction where the issue occurred. If the complaint doesn’t result in an out-of-court settlement, it proceeds to trial. The result of the trial may require the defendant to pay a judgment.
Yes, judgments will appear on a person’ credit report. Typically, judgments aren’t directly reported to credit bureaus, but they are publically documented on county court records. County court records are generally reviewed by the credit bureaus. Each credit bureau treats a judgment as a negative action. Thus, it lowers an individual’s overall credit score.
No. Most judgments stay on a person’s credit report for up to seven years from the date it was filed with the court. It can be a shorter number of years if the judgment is paid. The creditor does have the option to refile the judgment after the seven year-limit expires.
The creditor who wins a civil judgment against an individual can garnish the person’s wages. Wage garnishment refers to a percentage of money deducted from a person’s paycheck every week or two weeks to pay off the judgment. Federal law allows up to 25 percent of a person’s pay until the debt is satisfied.
A civil lawyer can help you resolve a civil judgment. The lawyer can tell you how to proceed or if bankruptcy is your best option to resolve the judgment.