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How Not to Pay a Judgment

George Simons | December 02, 2022

George Simons
Co-Founder of SoloSuit
George Simons, JD/MBA

George Simons is the co-founder and CEO of SoloSuit. He has helped Americans protect over $1 billion from predatory debt lawsuits. George graduated from BYU Law school in 2020 with a JD-MBA. In his spare time, George likes to cook, because he likes to eat.

Edited by Hannah Locklear

Hannah Locklear
Editor at SoloSuit
Hannah Locklear, BA

Hannah Locklear is SoloSuit’s Marketing and Impact Manager. With an educational background in Linguistics, Spanish, and International Development from Brigham Young University, Hannah has also worked as a legal support specialist for several years.

Make the right defense and win in court.

Summary: Have you been ordered to pay a judgment? Not sure if you'll ever come up with the cash? Find out how not to pay a judgment.

If a creditor wins a debt collection lawsuit against you, they're legally obliged to collect the debt you owe. The law refers to a creditor who files a debt collection complaint and wins as the "judgment creditor."

The judgment creditor is given authority by the court to take any of your personal property if you fail to pay the debt in full. Other than your personal property or "attachment" as described by law, debt collectors can also:

  • Place a lien on your home or real estate properties.
  • Take funds directly from your account.
  • Compel your employer to send a specific portion of your earnings directly to them.
  • And more.

These measures are usually harsh to creditors who can't raise the debt amount in good time.

Avoid a default judgment by responding with SoloSuit.

Many people assume that the court's judgment in a debt collection lawsuit is final. They're often compelled to pay, fearing that they might lose their personal property if they don't. But this is not always the case; a debtor can still fail to make payments even after a judgment is filed.

You can take certain measures if you're unable to pay the creditor the amount awarded to them by the court. Some of these measures include:

  • Attempting to vacate the judgment.
  • Filing an exemption claim.
  • Filing for bankruptcy.
  • Settling with the judgment creditor.

Let's take a more in-depth look at each option.

Vacate the judgment

This involves requesting the court to 'set aside' the judgment for a while. Setting aside a judgment, in legal terms, means declaring a legal decision invalid. In simple terms, the court will revoke or overrule its initial judgment upon request.

When you successfully convince a judge to vacate the judgment, the judgment creditor will lose all the legal powers of claiming a debt from you. They will no longer have a legal claim to collect the debt from you, which means they can't touch any of your personal property, perform a bank levy, or wage garnishment. As a result, the judge will issue a new trial date for the debt collection lawsuit.

Note that you can only vacate a judgment if the decision issued by the court was a default judgment. A default judgment occurs when you fail to appear in court, and the judge rules in favor of the complaint.

Use SoloSuit to beat debt collectors in court.

File an exemption claim

An exemption claim prevents a judgment creditor from taking some of your property or money after the court passes judgment. However, please bear in mind that what is considered exempt in one state may not be exempt in another state.

Common exemptions include:

  • Federal benefits and support payments.
  • Homestead and property exemption.
  • Wage garnishment exemption.

Filing for bankruptcy is the only legal way to erase your debt and not pay a judgment altogether. A court may discharge debts such as payday loans through bankruptcy, but judgments such as student loans or child support cannot be discharged through bankruptcy

Settle with the judgment creditor

This option involves negotiating with the judgment creditor to lower the amount of debt you're supposed to pay. Then, instead of settling the debt in full, you can reach a settlement that favors both parties.

In summation, you'll need an Answer document whenever you need to respond to a debt collections summons. You can create this document by yourself, which is in itself exhausting and time-consuming, or use SoloSuit, the faster alternative.

What is SoloSuit?

SoloSuit makes it easy to respond to a debt collection lawsuit.

How it works: SoloSuit is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your answer. Upon completion, you can either print the completed forms and mail in the hard copies to the courts or you can pay SoloSuit to file it for you and to have an attorney review the document.

Respond with SoloSuit

"First time getting sued by a debt collector and I was searching all over YouTube and ran across SoloSuit, so I decided to buy their services with their attorney reviewed documentation which cost extra but it was well worth it! SoloSuit sent the documentation to the parties and to the court which saved me time from having to go to court and in a few weeks the case got dismissed!" – James

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>>Read the FastCompany article: Debt Lawsuits Are Complicated: This Website Makes Them Simpler To Navigate

>>Read the NPR story on SoloSuit: A Student Solution To Give Utah Debtors A Fighting Chance

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