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Settlement After Judgment

Settlement After Judgment

Consumer Protection Lawyer

If you or a loved one is trying to settle a judgment obtained by a creditor, you should speak with a consumer protection lawyer. They know how to help you understand and appreciate your legal options. Fitzgerald & Campbell has a lot of experience taking on creditors on behalf of debtors. We are here when you need us. Contact Fitzgerald & Campbell for a free consultation by calling (844) 431-3851 or contacting us online.

After a judgment has been rendered against you, fortunately, you may still be able to get the creditor to agree to allow you to pay less than the total amount owed. This can be done by entering a settlement agreement, in which an attorney can be of great assistance. This article explains the possibility of settlement after judgment. 

What Is A Judgment?

A judgment occurs when a party loses a civil case either by default (not showing up) or at trial. The court will issue a judgment which is essentially its final decision. If the judgment is for money, the defendant will be ordered to pay the money to the winning side. 

How Long Can A Judgment Last?

A judgment is valid in accordance with California Law for ten years, after which it will automatically expire. However, a judgment can be extended for another ten years at the creditor's request. 

What Is The Amount Of Interest On A Judgment?

Under California Law, interest accrues at 10 percent per year on the principal amount of a monetary judgment remaining unsatisfied. After ten years, the judgment is effectively doubled upon renewal, so it's best to pay it as quickly as possible. If you don't have the full funds on hand, this can be done via a settlement. 

What Power Does A Creditor Have After Judgment?

Once a court enters a judgment against you, the creditor is called a "judgment creditor," and you are called a "judgment debtor." Judgment creditors have many more collection techniques than creditors trying to collect debts before getting a judgment. These techniques can include taking wages directly through your employer ("Garnishment"), putting a lien against your property, or getting the Sheriff to take or sell your personal property ("Levy").

What Is A Settlement?

A settlement is an agreement by both parties to the lawsuit that resolves their dispute. This usually occurs before trial but can occur after trial in some instances. 

Can I Settle After A Judgment Has Been Rendered Against Me?

Yes, if you have been delivered a judgment awarded against you by a debt collector, you should still be able to reach an agreement to avoid garnishments or bank levies. Settlements can be negotiated at all stages of the collection cycle, although it is always best to settle before judgment because the debtor's power is more limited.

Why Would A Creditor Agree To Settle With Me After A Judgment Has Been Entered?

If you attempt to negotiate before the creditor has taken measures such as garnishments and land levies against you, this is an advantage as it's more work on their end. If it is difficult for the creditor to enforce the judgment against you, they will be more inclined to negotiate a settlement. This is where it is beneficial to have a California debt collection attorney's assistance. Instances that would create difficulty for the creditor to collect are: 

  • You don't have traceable employment with a W2 or other tax form to garnish.
  • You don't have a bank account in your name or a very small bank account, so a levy on your bank account cannot be made. Note that if you must keep an account open, be aware of when bank account levies can occur. This is usually at the beginning, middle, and end of the month. You may want to elect to have paper checks issued by your employer to time your deposits to avoid levies until the judgment debt is resolved.
  • You don't own real property for a lien to be filed, or the lien was filed yet remains unpaid.

What Are The Benefits Of Settling After Judgment? 

It is beneficial to settle after judgment because you can reduce your payments and, ideally, not pay for the entire ten years. With the interest rate being 10% per year, you are paying double the debt if you do wait the full ten years, which only increases if the payments are extended to twenty years. 

How Do I Go About Negotiating A Settlement After A Judgment Has Been Issued Against Me?

  1. Step One:  Figure out who you need to pay. You can do this by getting a copy of your judgment from the court where it was entered and calling the law firm that handled the lawsuit. The creditor might have taken the account back from the law firm, and you will need to contact the creditor directly. If the creditor has sold your debt to a third party, you must call them. The bottom line is that you must figure out who is responsible for the debt collection so you can negotiate with them. 
  2. Step Two:  Once you have figured out whom you need to talk to, call that person and find out your balance. To know your balance is correct, you should calculate it yourself. To do so, read the copy of your judgment closely: it will have the exact amount owed as of the date of the judgment and interest and legal fees to be added. That number is the amount you owe. 
  3. Step Three: Attempt to negotiate with the creditor to pay a lower balance. An attorney would be helpful at this stage. Be prepared because creditors are expert negotiators. Be aware of whatever facts are in your favor.

Real Client Results

Conquering Your Mountain of Debt Since 1992
  • $1,043,087.06 settled for $492,701.56 Individual
  • Client Saved $27,433.00! UGH, I LLC.
  • $535,175.56 was settled for $375,000.00 Madison 65 Co
  • Client’s debt was reduced by $314,811.00! National Continental Insurance Company
  • $263,963.17 JUDGMENT VACATED! Los Angeles County Superior Court

Hear From Our Happy Clients

At Fitzgerald & Campbell, your satisfaction is our priority! See for yourself what our clients have to say about working with us.

    "It Was The Right Decision"

    Patricia and Fabiola were both such a great help from the start. It was the right decision to seek legal help when dealing with these debt collectors. The process with Fitzgerald & Campbell was very simple and straightforward, it reduced the stress of my situation greatly for a reasonable price. Highly recommend!

    - C.M.
    "Provided Clarity and Prompt Communication"

    We got involved in a domestication of sister-state judgment (from a vehicle accident in Nevada) that involved a different person with the same name, it was originally served to a different address. Several other attorneys had no clue how to deal with this case, suggesting to get our vehicle insurance involved. Attorney William J. Campbell, Luz Rodriguez and case manager Christina did a great job and provided clarity and prompt communication on how to file a motion to vacate this sister-state judgment. The case is now vacated and dismissed without prejudice. Highly recommended.

    - E.C.
    "Fitzgerald & Campbell is Truly Praiseworthy"

    I was in a difficult and stressful situation. I was sued and served over an old personal loan.
    Fitzgerald & Campbell helped me to settle and lowered the judgment amount in less than a month.
    This firm is outstanding and they care about their clients.
    Thank you, Ms. Patricia Mendez for being so passionate and so helpful about my case.
    Now, am stress free.
    Fitzgerald & Campbell is a truly praiseworthy and highly recommended firm.
    Thank you.

    - E.A.
    "You Are All Amazing"

    Thank you very much, Ma'am for the immediate help.

    You are all amazing!🙏🙏🙏

    - E.A.
    "I Can't Thank Fitzgerald & Campbell Enough"

    I found myself dealing with a judgement and wage garnishment, Fitzgerald & Campbell explained to me what my options were on how to settle and get myself out of this situation. I was supplied and guided on how to fill out proper paperwork and never once had to deal with said creditor myself, Fitzgerald & Campbell did all of the communication between myself and the creditor. I can't thank Fitzgerald & Campbell enough (especially Patricia!) For negotiating a settlement I could pay in full and put this whole ordeal behind me. If you are feeling stranded in a hole with everyone coming at you Fitzgerald & Campbell are there extending a friendly hand to get you out of that hole and back on your feet.

    - S.J.

How Can A California Debt Resolution Attorney Help You?

If you already have a judgment against you that you wish to settle, a debt resolution attorney can be invaluable in obtaining a settlement post-judgment through negotiation. The attorneys at Fitzgerald & Campbell are highly experienced and have helped many individuals successfully navigate the ins and outs of debt judgments. 

To get started, reach out to Fitzgerald & Campbell for a free consultation by calling (844) 431-3851 or contacting us online.

"I've walked in your shoes! Let me do for you what I learned to do for myself." - Gregory M. Fitzgerald, Managing Partner