What is a Civil Judgment?

Cesar MontalvoCivil Law

A civil judgment is a ruling against a defendant in a court of law. It refers to a non-criminal legal matter and often requires the defendant to pay damages. Damages are generally money amounts.

How Does a Lawsuit Start?

When a plaintiff wants to sue a defendant, a complaint is filed with the jurisdiction where the issue occurred. If the complaint doesn’t result in an out-of-court settlement, it proceeds to trial. The result of the trial may require the defendant to pay a civil judgment.

Does a Civil Judgment Appear on a Person’s Credit Report?

Yes, a civil judgment will appear on a person’s credit report. Typically, judgments aren’t directly reported to credit bureaus, but they are publicly documented on county court records. Credit bureaus review county court records and each credit bureau treats a judgment as a negative action. Thus, it lowers an individual’s overall credit score.

Can a Judgment be Removed from my Credit Report?

No. A civil judgment usually stays on a person’s credit report for up to seven years from the date it was filed with the court. It can be a shorter number of years if the judgment is paid. The creditor does have the option to re-file the judgment after the seven year-limit expires.

Can Creditors Garnish my Wages?

If a creditor wins a judgment against an individual, they can garnish the person’s wages. Wage garnishment refers to a percentage of money deducted from a person’s paycheck every week or two weeks to pay off the judgment. Federal law allows up to 25 percent of a person’s pay until the debt is satisfied.

Can a Lawyer Help me?

A bankruptcy lawyer can help you resolve a civil judgment. The lawyer can tell you how to proceed or if bankruptcy is your best option to resolve the judgment.

Learn more about how the Law Offices of Cesar A. Montalvo can help you with any type of civil case and then contact us to schedule an appointment.