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What is a Judgment?

Judgments obtained on credit card debt can be eliminated in bankruptcyWritten by Craig D. Robins, Esq.
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When you don’t pay your credit card bill, the credit card company will eventually sue you and get a judgment
 
If someone does not pay his or her debts, then it is usually just a question of time before the creditor brings a collection law suit.  If the law suit is successful, then the court will grant the creditor a “judgment”. 
 
This is simply the official court decision indicating that the issues in the lawsuit were resolved.  Judgments typically state a specific dollar amount that the person being sued must pay to the party who filed the suit.
 
As Long Island bankruptcy attorneys, we often see clients who have judgments from credit card companies.  If someone does not pay their credit card bill, then they will usually be sued.
 
Can Judgments Be Eliminated In Bankruptcy?
 
Judgments can usually be eliminated in bankruptcy proceedings.   Judgments on credit card accounts are dischargeable.  Judgments for medical debt, utility service and back rent can also be eliminated with bankruptcy.  However, judgments for the payment of child support or delinquent income taxes cannot be eliminated by bankruptcy.
 
Will Bankruptcy Remove a Judgment from a Credit Report?
 
Since judgments are public records, they can be reported on a credit report by each of the three main credit bureaus.  If you eliminate a judgment in bankruptcy, the judgment can still be reported since it is still a public record, although the credit reporting agency must indicate that the judgment was resolved through bankruptcy.  This is one reason why it is advantageous to file for bankruptcy before a creditor can obtain a judgment.
 
What Can Creditors Do With a Judgment?
 
A creditor can use a judgment to enforce the debt.  The creditor can garnish wages, freeze a bank account, and place a judgment lien on real estate.  Any bankruptcy filing will automatically stop the enforcement of a judgment.
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