Having a judgement filed against you is one of the most intimidating parts of dealing with debt.
For most people, a judgement comes from ongoing financial struggles or is related to an invalid debt. In the latter case, a judgement means you neglected to fight back against a debt collector pursing a debt you were not obligated to pay and now you’re on the hook for something you shouldn’t be.
On the other hand, if a judgement is related to a valid debt, it usually means your financial situation is dire. In addition to the debt with the judgement, you might have other burdens and be faced with a situation that seems bleak.
The good news is you still have options, even if there’s a judgement against you regarding a debt.
There’s no denying that a judgement means you’ll have fewer options for dealing with a debt. However, you still have the option of filing for bankruptcy which can make your financial situation much less stressful. Bankruptcy means you’ll be able to restructure or eliminate your debt, including the one with the judgement.
What You Need to Know about Debt, Judgements, and Bankruptcy
The same rules apply to debts with judgements that apply to other debts.
If a debt qualifies as dischargeable, you’ll likely not need to pay it. However, if you’re dealing with a judgement related to a debt that is non-dischargeable, bankruptcy won’t help you get rid of the debt.
What filing for bankruptcy can do is get your finances in order so there is money available to pay toward that debt.
To learn more about what debts are dischargeable and non-dischargeable, check this out.
I’ve Been Served with a Summons. What’s Next?
If you’ve received notice that a creditor has filed a lawsuit against you, you need to respond to the lawsuit. You’re only going to make your situation worse if you ignore the summons and hope it goes away.
Furthermore, not responding to the lawsuit means the court will grant an automatic judgement in favor of the creditor, even if the debt is invalid or has expired.
An attorney can help you respond to the summons and deal with the problem as efficiently as possible. Even if the debt is invalid or past its expiration date, it’s a good idea to have an experienced professional on your side ensuring your rights are protected.
If the judgement is in place and now you face wage garnishment and other aggressive collection efforts, we can still help. Bankruptcy might be your only option, but for many, it’s the best option and the first step to financial freedom.
To learn more about judgements or to speak to someone about your options regarding your financial struggles, contact the Law Offices of Robert M. Geller at 813.254.5696 for a free consultation.