A default judgement occurs when you are not able to answer a lawsuit — usually with a debt collector — and a judge makes a decision for the case without taking into consideration your side. As a result, you are essentially found guilty, for failing to enter a defense.
Because of their speed, these judgements are also referred to as automatic judgements. The next thing that could happen is a bank account levy or wage garnishment which means that the creditor can take money away from your account in order for the debt to be accounted for.
If you are caught in such a situation, here are three things you can do:
1. Get all the information that you can.
The process for debt collection is a lengthy one that may take several years before an actual lawsuit occurs. You need to ensure that the judgement is for an actual debt that you owe and in the accurate amount.
Gather all the information you have, which should include all the bills from your original creditor, all the notices, such as the validation letter from your debt collector, and all the court documents that have been sent to you.
If you’ve never been sent a collection notice or were not given a court order prior to the lawsuit, your consumer rights might have been violated by the debt collector. You now have the grounds to make a challenge to the judgement order. Now you may:
2. Find legal help.
Now you can start looking for a judgment defense attorney in Salt Lake City. Consult legal help when trying to cope with a judgement order case. A lot of people find relief from such orders with some legal advice. A good lawyer can help you determine whether or not this judgement is indeed correct and if it is, go through the options available to you. If it is not, then the lawyer will help you come up with ways to challenge the order.
3. Decide what course of action to take.
You can choose to accept the given judgement — some creditors might agree to a settlement by accepting less than the amount you actually owe. This may happen when they foresee that you will declare bankruptcy, which will wipe the debt off. This can be a good situation to be in. The creditor will receive any payment however partial while you are able to pay less and avoid a bank account levy.
4. Challenge it.
If you were not notified of the lawsuit or did not owe the alleged debt, then the judgement could have been made erroneously. The natural course of action here is challenging it to have it set aside or vacated.
Get a legal adviser and respond to the order as soon as you can. Wage garnishment can happen quickly once the default judgment order has been made. Challenging a judgement order can be taxing and exhausting, but will pay off eventually.
If there is no other way to handle your judgement order, you can dispel the judgment by declaring bankruptcy. Get help from an attorney to find out if this is a good option for you. It is important to act as fast as you can. A bankruptcy petition will put on hold enforcement actions as well as the judgement order on you.