If you find yourself taken to court by a creditor, we can help you. If you owe money, you could end up with a court judgement against you. We’ll help you navigate through tough court judgements without fear.
While laws vary among each state, we’ve helped our clients navigate their way to safety after a court action or judgement. Let us help you get the support you need to handle your judgement.
What Is A Debt Judgement?
If you fall behind on your payments with creditors or individuals, they can apply for a court order (judgement debt) that requires you to pay your debt.
What exactly is a judgement? The judgement is the decision of the court in any particular case, usually related to the application of the law.
The creditor has up to 12 years to collect the judgement debt from you. In addition, you may be liable to pay for their legal costs and any interest acquired. The good news is you have options if you’re facing a judgement debt, and you don’t have to face this alone.
How To Handle A Court Judgement?
What do you do if you’re notified a judgement has been entered against you? There are a few steps you need to take:
- Check with the court – First, you need to check whether there is, in fact, a judgement against you by calling the court yourself. When you call, ask specifically about the date the court action took place and was obtained, the amount owed, and the name of the creditor who took legal action against you.
- Consider your situation – Is there any reason you might not owe any or part of your debt? You might be eligible for an appeal, but it’s important to seek help if this is the option you choose. The professionals at Debt Busters can help you decide if an appeal is right for you.
- Make a plan – Finally, you’ll need to make a plan to either pay the debt immediately or apply to the court to pay in instalments.
This can be an intimidating time if you’re not careful. The experts at Debt Busters can help you through this process if you’re not sure what next steps to take.
What Can The Creditor Do If You Do Not Pay?
What happens if you’re not able to pay your debt judgement? Unfortunately, the creditor has a number of actions they can take to recover their money. They can do the following when enforcing a debt:
- Request the court to make a ruling on what you should pay based on your situation
- Obtain an order to garnish a percentage of your regular wages
- Get a warrant to seize your possessions
- Get a warrant to sell your property (such as your home)
- Begin the process to bankrupt you if your debt is over $5,000
Because these are serious actions, you’ll want to create a plan to either pay your creditor back, set up instalments, or appeal the judgement. You don’t want to get mixed up in action taken when enforcing a debt.
Can A Court Judgment Be Removed From My Credit Rating?
In most cases, a judgement debt will remain on your credit report for 5 years. This is true even if you repay your debt.
However, once you’ve fully paid your debt judgement, you can attempt to have it removed from your credit rating.
First, you need to write to the credit bureau themselves to let them know it’s been fully paid. To do this, you’ll need to obtain a letter or document from your creditor saying you have fully satisfied your judgement debt.
When you provide this document to your credit reporting agencies, it might be enough on its own. Some credit providers might just include a notation on your report saying that you’ve repaid your judgement debt.
Another option is to request that your creditor sign a consent order stating that both parties set aside the judgement and discontinued proceeding, allowing it to be taken from your credit report. This isn’t always something creditors are willing to agree to, so talk to a Debt Busters representative about whether this is a good option for you.
When Do You Not Have To Pay A Judgement Debt?
There are some instances when you don’t have to pay a judgement debt against you. There are a few protected assets and income types that aren’t eligible to be taken from you in the case of a judgement debt repayment.
If you don’t have any assets other than what’s considered “household items,” and you don’t own any property, you might be protected. Similarly, if your car is worth less than $7800, it is not eligible to be resold as part of your involuntary repayment.
Finally, if your only income is Centrelink, you are protected from any of your payments being taken. However, any accumulated savings might still be taken from your account in the case of a court order.
It’s vital that you review your current financial situation with a Debt Busters professional to see what you will or will not have to pay. Every situation is different, and laws might be unique to where you live.
What Are My Options?
If there’s a judgement debt against you, then you have 3 main options:
- Pay your debt – You can pay your debt by negotiating directly with the creditor or offering to settle the debt for a reduced amount.
- Instalments – Another option is to apply to the court to repay your debt in instalments.
- Voluntary bankruptcy – Finally, filing bankruptcy voluntarily is a way to alleviate this debt, though this is a serious financial decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Since this is a big decision, make sure you have trusted experts on your side. Protecting your assets, income, and property should be your first concern. At Debt Busters, we’ve helped Australian’s of all backgrounds successfully navigate their judgement debts.
Handle A Court Judgement With Confidence
A court judgement allows your creditors to take further legal action such as an enforcement hearing or garnishee order where your financial position will be scrutinised and your wages reduced. They may even proceed with bankruptcy against you.
It’s time to take positive action. We know your situation is unique so we’ll listen to you and tailor the best debt solution that works for you. For more information about our court judgement services, please get in touch with a member of our expert team now on 1300 368 322.