IT IS THE REASON A COURT JUDGMENT BALANCE GROWS SO INCREDIBLY FAST….
Most people are shocked to see how fast a judgment against them can grow. CA law allows 10% interest. That is an incredibly high interest rate. That means $10,000 will grow by at least $1000 per year and in 10 years the balance will be at least $20,000. Assuming the judgment is renewed, the 10% rate is applied on the new renewed balance. That means the $20,000 renewed judgment will grow by at least $2000 per year. This means that the balance will be at least $40,000 in another 10 years. So, due to interest alone, a $10,000 judgment will be $40,000 in 20 years (and $80,000 in 30 years).
AMAZING AS IT SOUNDS, THAT IS NOT THE WORST OF IT!
Judgment creditors, by simply filing a Memorandum of Costs After Judgment, Acknowledgement of Credit, and Declaration of Accrued Interest, can add substantially more than just interest to your judgment balance. They can also add such things as attorney fees, investigators, skip tracing, and all sorts of other “costs” to the balance merely by filing this form with the court. Literally tens of thousands of dollars can be added virtually overnight. They are literally “hunting” you, searching for your assets, AND the cost of doing so is added to your balance. This can be very expensive.
Any time the lawyer for the judgment creditor spends any time on the case, they can add that to your balance. This is why it is not wise to spend hours and hours arguing with them over the legitimacy of the judgment or other issues that do not lead directly to a resolution. Ten hours of attorney time at $500/hr is $5000. People are shocked to see their $5000 judgment grow to $10,000 due to these types of costs. I’ve seen a $1700 HOA judgment grow to over $10,000 due to attorney fees alone. It is ridiculous, but it is legal.
Then add the outrageous interest…
Then understand that any payments made are applied to outstanding interest first…
This is why I call judgments financial cancer. Most of the time they are unfair, they grow like weeds, and you can make it much worse if you do not understand exactly what you must do. One MUST act quickly. Unless you are going to attack the judgment itself by using a Motion to Vacate it, you MUST do everything possible to settle it QUICKLY! Extended negotiations on judgment often makes the cancer much worse.
If you have a judgment against you, it is worth your while to have it reviewed to see how long it will last, if it can be renewed, and if you should contest it or settle it. This will require an experienced lawyer that has done it before. Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC is a law firm that only represents consumers and small businesses on debt related matters.