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How Many Times Can a Judgment Be Renewed in North Carolina?

George Simons | December 11, 2023

Summary: Thinking that old judgment will expire soon and you'll be able to move on with your life? Think again. Find out how many times a judgment can be renewed in North Carolina.

So, a judgment was entered against you in the state of North Carolina a couple of years ago. You heard that in 10 years the judgment will expire. Thinking that in eight short years this too shall pass. Many people in this same situation decide to roll the dice. They decide to play the waiting game and allow the judgment to expire thinking then they will be in the clear. They think the creditor is out of luck in their ability to collect on this judgment. Some may also believe that now that the judgment has expired, it will somehow come off their credit report.

This is simply flat-out wrong. A judgment issued in the state of North Carolina can be renewed. Though it technically isn't a renewal as much as the creditor or holder of the judgment can file a motion before the expiration of the original judgment to extend the original judgment. If the court approves and grants the motion, the “new” judgment has a time period of 10 years that the creditor can affect a collection on the judgment.

Why a Creditor Might Renew a Judgment

In the state of North Carolina, a judgment may be granted this “renewal” one time. Ultimately giving every judgment granted in the state a shelf life of 20 years. Now the waiting game doesn't look all that enticing. Keep in mind, that the creditor, entity, or individual that is holding the judgment has many collection methods available to them in which they can satisfy the judgment with or without the cooperation of the individual who is the subject of the judgment.

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There are some guidelines that the creditor has to follow to be able to have the lien granted in the original judgment transfer to the renewed judgment but that shouldn't be the reason an individual takes a chance if a judgment has been granted against them by taking no action.

It should never be taken for granted that a creditor wouldn't attempt to renew a judgment. If a company went to the time and expense of securing the judgment, it stands to reason that if they have been unsuccessful at executing the judgment, they would also spend the cost of giving themselves another decade in which to collect the money owed to them.

What a Creditor Can Do to Execute a Judgment

Once a judgment has been granted, the creditor has a piece of paper that is court-approved that stipulates that they are entitled to a specific amount of money from the person named in the judgment. Securing the judgment alone doesn't put money in the bank account of the creditor.

The creditor still has work to do to determine if the person has any assets. If they own land or a house, the creditor may be able to put a lien against that property. So, if the person wanted to sell the land or house, they wouldn't be able to without first satisfying the lien that has been placed against that property. Many states will exempt a house as a homestead property which would not be subject to a lien.

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While some states allow creditors who have been granted a judgment to garnish wages, that is not allowed in the state of North Carolina for a judgment from a debt. Before you feel sorry for the holder of the judgment, there is another method to execute a judgment. That would be with a lien against the person's bank account. If the judgment hasn't been paid, the creditor would be able to attach a lien against the bank account which could freeze the account. Any money would go towards paying the balance of the judgment.

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