I have a judgment against me and learned the creditor is charging me 10% interest. Is that legal?
I have a judgment against me. I agreed to make 50 monthly payments and have been for 18 months. I recently found out that they have been charging me 10% interest they told me it equals $112 monthly. I don't understand how if I'm paying $50 monthly its doing no good because I'm still being charged $62 on top of that for interest. Is this legal?
Most states do allow creditors to add interest, collection costs, and attorney’s fees to the balance of a judgment after the judgment is entered by the court, but the amount the creditor can add and how it must go about this process will largely depend on your state of residence.
Generally speaking, 10% interest on a judgment is legal, but some states have a lower maximum rate. See State Consumer Protection Laws and Exemptions for the maximum amount for your state.
In California for example, a judgment creditor must file with the court a document called a "Memorandum of Costs after Judgment, Acknowledgment of Credit, and Declaration of Accrued Interest," in which it outlines the costs it has incurred in its efforts to enforce the judgment, the interest accrued, and the amount it has received in payments to reduce the judgment balance. Once the creditor files this statement with the court, the court will review the claimed costs and interest, and unless you object to the claim, will likely add the request amount to the judgment balance. The creditor is required to mail you a copy of this document before it is considered by the court, giving you an opportunity to file an objection; if you do file an objection, the court will likely set the matter for a hearing, allowing you and the creditor to argue your cases to the judge.
Although the process is similar in many other states, remember that the procedure outlined above is specific to California, and is only provided as an example of the fact that judgment balances can have interest and fees added. Regardless your state of residence, a judgment creditor usually cannot increase the balance owed on a debt arbitrarily without court approval.
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Did you know?
Debt is used to buy a home, pay for bills, buy a car, or pay for a college education. According to the NY Federal Reserve total household debt as of Q4 2023 was $17.503 trillion. Auto loan debt was $1.607 trillion and credit card was $1.129 trillion.
According to data gathered by Urban.org from a sample of credit reports, about 26% of people in the US have some kind of debt in collections. The median debt in collections is $1,739. Student loans and auto loans are common types of debt. Of people holding student debt, approximately 10% had student loans in collections. The national Auto/Retail debt delinquency rate was 4%.
Collection and delinquency rates vary by state. For example, in Vermont, 16% have student loan debt. Of those holding student loan debt, 5% are in default. Auto/retail loan delinquency rate is 2%.
While many households can comfortably pay off their debt, it is clear that many people are struggling with debt. Make sure that you analyze your situation and find the best debt payoff solutions to match your situation.