Providing Debt Relief for Clients Throughout the State of New York

What Actually Is Money Judgement?

The term ‘money judgement’ may sound confusing, but it is simply used to mean that a judgement has been entered against the losing side of a credit card debt, student loan debt or business debt case. Once a judgement has been entered, the opposing party is allowed to enter a money judgement against them for the amount that they had initially sued for. For example, if Bob is suing Joe on a debt owed, and Bob obtains a judgement against Joe by winning the case, Bob can enter a money judgement for whatever amount he was initially suing for. This happens most often in credit card or student loan cases where consumers are being sued by big banks or debt buyers. In these types of cases, the consumer usually loses on default, meaning that they do not respond. The main reason for a person failing to respond is that they were never served proper notice of the summons and complaint of the actual lawsuit. Oftentimes, the consumer says, “I never knew about this lawsuit, how could I have possibly defended myself if I never knew?” But because they did not know, they automatically lost the case and a judgment was entered against them.

Who Do You Represent In These Cases?

Most often we represent consumers in credit card, business, and personal loan cases. We also deal with landlord/tenant inventory cases, auto repossession, and private student loan cases.

Are There Different Types Of Money Judgements?

No, there are not different types of money judgements. However, there are different statutes of limitations for certain types of judgement enforcement. For example, a judgement against the consumer by a credit card company such as Citibank is enforceable for 20 years. This means Citibank has 20 years to enforce these judgements by way of letting a bank account freeze the funds in a consumer’s account. In addition, they can garnish wages which means taking money directly from a person’s paycheck. If it is a large enough judgement, they can even put liens on people’s homes.

So, the only real difference between judgements is the amount of time that they can be enforced. In terms of bank levies and wage garnishments, enforcement is good for 20 years. In New York State, liens on a home can only be enforced for 10 years.

What Happens After Someone Receives A Notice Of Judgement?

Most people receive notice of a judgement once their bank account is frozen and they attempt to withdraw money. In other cases, a person may receive notice of a judgement through the human resources department at their place of work. For a significant majority of people that we speak to, the notification comes as a major surprise because they never knew that there was a lawsuit to begin with. It doesn’t take an attorney to realize that if a person was not served properly and therefore had no knowledge of a lawsuit, they could not have been expected to defend themselves.

New York State has responded to these situations by giving the person an opportunity to vacate the judgement, which means removing that judgment and reopening the case. It does not mean dismissing the case; it means the person is given an opportunity to explain what happened and why they were unaware of the lawsuit. If the case is reopened, the defendant will be given a summons and complaint, as well as a proper chance to defend themselves.

In cases such as these, the consumer or business that has received a judgement has almost no recourse or leverage unless they vacate the judgment. By doing so, the burden goes back to the plaintiff to prove their case.

For more information on Money Judgements In New York, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (888) 605-2705 today.