At David Chico Law Group it is common for clients or business who had a judgement entered against them be referred to our office. And for good reason, this is an area of law that is not commonly practiced and thus difficult to find legal counsel. Some clients know they have a judgment but choose to ignore it until the pressure or actions from the debt collector force the client to respond. Other clients never even knew a judgment was entered against them because they never received notice of the underlying lawsuit. Consequently, when these clients have their wages garnished or the sheriff seizes their vehicles it comes as a huge surprise.
What is a Judgment?
Most judgments (but not all) are what we call money judgments, meaning that the court issued a final decision awarding money to a plaintiff. The judgment is in effect a sentence handed by a civil court for a specific sum of money known as the judgment amount. Also included in the judgment will be an assessment of interest. So if the court issues a judgment for $50,000 and the defendant pays the full amount even one day latter from the date of judgment, the defendant would owe interest for that one day. The interest rate varies and is set by the state.
What is the Effect of a Judgment?
Most people know that the immediate effect of a judgment will be on your credit score. Credit score agencies are on the looking for new judgments and will drop your score significantly. Yet, the credit score is the least of the problems. There are 4 major that judgments cause debtors. First, is that a judgment gives the creditor the right to garnish your wages and bank accounts. Second, the judgment gives the creditors the right to seize your property such as real estate cars, stocks, boats and just about anything else of value and put the seized item up for auction. Third, the judgment operates as a lien on real estate so even if the property is never seized you cannot sell your property without paying the judgment. The fourth and last major problem is that the judgment will often give the creditor the right to go after family and friends that received money an property from you, even when the transaction happened before the judgment was entered.
How Long Does a Judgement Last?
A Florida judgment lasts 20 years. David Chico Law Group has seen cases where the 15 years have passed and the judgment is long forgotten by the debtor and suddenly their bank account was garnished or the brand new vacation condo gets a big judgment lien tagged on it.
Consider Speaking with a Florida Judgment Attorney: David Chico Law Group
Judgment problems can be draining. If you have a judgment that needs to be handled, a great first step is to learn about your legal rights, which is best accomplished by speaking with a David Chico Law Group Lawyer.