Judgments can be entered against individuals at various phases during litigation including default judgment , summary judgment and judgment at trial. The sooner an individual retains an attorney, the better position they are in to prevent a judgment from being entered against them.
Once a judgment is obtained by a creditor, it remains in effect for years. Although the judgment can become dormant, it can be revived. This means your creditors can execute a judgment against you even five years after it is ordered.
Creditors can collect on judgments in the following ways:
- Wage garnishment;
- Bank account lien; or
- Placing a lien on real property or seizing real property
There are certain types of benefit payments that are exempt from being collected upon to satisfy a judgment including:
- Workers’ compensation benefits;
- Unemployment compensation payments;
- Cash assistance payments under the Ohio works first program;
- Benefits and services under the prevention, retention, and contingency program;
- Disability financial assistance administered by the Ohio department of job and family services;
- Social security benefits;
- Supplemental security income (S.S.I.);
- Veteran’s benefits;
- Black lung benefits;
- Certain pensions.
There may be other benefits not included in the above list that apply in your case. Additionally, it may be possible to avoid the judgment execution if you qualify for bankruptcy. If your creditor seeks to collect on a judgment by garnishing your wages, they can garnish up to 25% of your wages. If they place a lien on your bank account they can garnish from your account the amount of funds needed to pay the debt as long as there is $425.00 remaining in your account.
Once a judgment is paid, either in full or for an agreed upon sum, your creditor must file a Notice of Satisfaction of Judgment. If they fail to do so, you could potentially have a claim against the creditor for any damages you incur as a result of their failure to file the satisfaction of judgment.
It is important to remember that it is important to contact our firm as soon as you receive notice of a lawsuit or judgment filed against you. In doing so, our attorneys, in most cases, can prevent judgments from being ordered against our clients and typically work out favorable results for our clients. Even if a judgment has already been entered against you, it is still possible for our attorneys to work out a payment plan in order to prevent creditors from collecting on the judgment in the manners described above.