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What Can I Do About A Judgment?

What can I do about an old judgment?

Bill, I found out that there was a judgment filed against me back in Oct 2006. My wife and I were stationed overseas in Germany from August 2003 till 24 August 2006. We found out about the judgment because we were thinking about buying a house, the lender told us. I pulled my credit report and yes the lender was correct. I called the collection company and they said it was from a Citibank credit card. They said it was opened in 1999 and last payment in Jan 2003. The state is Oklahoma. I found out that the account was closed in April of 2002. Is there anything I can do about this. All the paperwork was going to Oklahoma and I left Oklahoma in 2001 and never had a Citibank credit card. I contacted Citibank and they told me they have know records on file of my SS# on file. What can I do?

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Bill's Answer
(6 Votes) | Find Learn Save

  • Consider negotiating with a creditor who has an old judgment against you.
  • Understand that collection laws vary state by state.
  • Consult with an attorney, to find out how a judgment will affect you.

Thank you for your question about the old judgment that shows on your credit report.

Try to negotiate a settlement

One option you have is to contact the creditor's attorney and try to settle the judgment. Though I do not know the balance of the judgment in question, if you can come to the table with cash in hand the creditor may be willing to settle this debt for much less than the actual balance, especially given the age of the judgment. You should probably plan on paying anywhere from 50% to 70% of the balance, though the creditor may be willing to take less, or may ask for more. Usually, if a creditor is going to accept a settlement, it wants payment in a short time frame, so if you make an offer, make sure you have the cash available. Also, make sure that you get a letter from the creditor or the law firm outlining the terms of the agreement before you make any payment. I wrote an article answering a similar question to this one, please read How to Settle a Judgment.

Collection laws vary state by state

You should keep in mind that, depending on your state law, a creditor with a judgment against you might be able to place a lien on your property, freeze your bank accounts, and/or garnish your wages. It is important that you research your state's laws to determine what action a creditor can take against you to enforce a judgment. I encourage you to contact any creditor holding a judgment against you to attempt to resolve the account; the creditor may be willing to forbear execution on the judgment if you can start making payments on the judgment. However, if your state is one of the states whose law make the enforcement of judgment difficult, such as Texas, you may decide to simply wait to resolve the judgment at a later date. You need to determine the potential consequences of the judgment against you so you can determine whether it is better for you to try to pay off the judgment or simply let the judgment sit for the time being. You can review your state's laws regarding judgment enforcement by visiting the State Consumer protection laws and exemptions page.

I encourage you to consult with an attorney licensed in your state to find out how the judgment will affect you, based on your individual financial circumstances.

I hope this information helps you Find. Learn & Save.



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  • BA
    Apr, 2010
    Thanks for your information.
    0 Votes

  • DB
    Apr, 2010
    This is the sort of answer I would expect from a collection agent! In the US, military personnel on active duty are protected from lawsuits while they are oversees. Not sure about Oklahoma's procedure, but in Michigan the Plaintiff has the burden of ensuring the Defendant is not currently on active status. The court complaint forms even have a line asking what the Defendants status is. If answered "no" and you can prove you were serving, then you can overturn the judgment. You could also pursue an improper service since they obviously didn't serve you.
    0 Votes