Do you have a judgment out against you? If so, you should know that there are only three ways to get rid of a judgment.
3 Ways to Get Rid of a Judgment:
- Vacate the Judgment
- Satisfy the Judgment
- Discharge the Judgment
Which Method of Getting Rid of a Judgment is Best?
The trick is figuring out which method of getting rid of the judgment is best in your situation. When you are considering the options, consider them in the order listed above. Can you vacate the judgment? If not, then move to the next. Can you satisfy the judgment? If not, then move to the next, can you discharge the judgment through bankruptcy?
Can You Vacate the Judgment?
If you contest the lawsuit filed against you, and the court enters a judgment against you, vacating the judgment is unlikely. However, if you did not respond to the lawsuit filed against you and the court entered a default judgment against you, you may be able to have the judgment set aside (or vacated). Talk to an attorney to determine if filing a motion asking the judge to vacate the judgment is a good idea. When making this request, you will need to explain why you failed to respond to the original lawsuit. If you were not properly notified of the lawsuit (or “served”), you have a time limitation from when you knew or should have known about the the judgment date to make the motion to vacate, If the judgment is vacated, you can contest the case.
Can You Satisfy the Judgment?
Satisfying the judgment means settling the judgment. When a judgment is settled, the judgment creditor should file a “Satisfaction of Judgment.” In many instances, judgment creditors are willing to settle for less than the full amount. The challenge is that you need money to make a settlement offer.
Can You Discharge the Judgment in a Bankruptcy Discharge?
If you cannot vacate the judgment and you cannot satisfy the judgment, you can probably discharge the judgment in bankruptcy. (Judgments based on fraud or willful and malicious injury are non-dischargeable).
If you have a judgment against you and need to file bankruptcy, please don’t hesitate to contact our experienced bankruptcy attorneys to discuss your options. Most bankruptcy offices in the Chattanooga area don’t have a single Consumer Bankruptcy Specialist on staff. Our office is the only one in Chattanooga with two. You are in good hands with Kenneth C. Rannick P.C.