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Default Judgment: But I Have No Money to Pay It!

Close up of person holding out empty pocket

They may say money doesn’t buy you happiness, but as we all know, it does often buy peace of mind. Both money and peace of mind may be in short supply though if you are currently overwhelmed with debt and few resources to pay any of it back. While your experience with credit probably started out in a relatively positive manner, once your stream of income became restricted, you may have been surprised to see how quickly things became ugly.

Most of us have no intention of taking out credit that we can’t payback. The problem is though, we can’t see into the future. And often that may be a good thing if piles of medical bills, unemployment, and divorce are looming as the soon-to-be culprits of our financial distress. These are unexpected events that cause many debtors to use credit cards as another form of income—until they run out. Creditors may be understanding for a short amount of time, and may even offer settlement programs, or the chance to pay for an agreed upon number of months without interest. Once the well has run dry though, you may find yourself fielding letters and calls from debt collectors who can seem relentless, as well as harsh.

Delinquencies may turn into a lawsuit, and if not responded to—a judgment. You may have felt helpless to respond to the lawsuit, and even more so once a default judgment was granted. With no money to pay the delinquencies or the money requested in the lawsuit, you may wonder how the court, or the creditor, expect you to pay off a judgment. In some cases, it simply may not be possible. If you have no income for the creditor to garnish and no checking or savings account or assets for them to seize, you may feel little repercussion from the judgment. Chances are though, that is not a permanent situation. A default judgment is usually good for ten years in California, but the creditor can request that it be extended for another ten. In that time, you may find yourself with an income or other assets that the creditor is only too happy to try to garnish or levy. Because of this, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced judgment attorney and explore the best options for you. Indeed, you may be judgment proof—or it may be better to fight the judgment or perhaps negotiate a settlement.

Close up of person holding out empty pocket

Contact us for help! If you currently have a judgment on your record, or other concerns about debt, an experienced attorney from Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC can review your case and discuss all the available options with you. Our attorneys have decades of experience in serving clients as they navigate through challenging financial situations, to include lawsuits, judgments, and more. Let us review your case and discuss what would work best for you.

Call us today for a free consultation at (844) 431-3851, or email us at

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