What Does it Mean to Have a Judgment Filed Against You?
A judgment refers to a decision by a court that has entered into the public record. Before a judgment can be issued, a lawsuit must be filed against you. If you do not file an answer to the lawsuit within the time period required by law (20-30 days usually) the plaintiff can ask the judge to issue a “default judgment”.
You can negotiate a “consent judgment” with the plaintiff in a collection case. This means you will make payment terms with the person who is suing you. If a judgment has been issued against you in a collection case your creditor becomes a secured creditor instead of an unsecured creditor. Secured creditors have more rights than unsecured creditors. In most States, a judgment creditor can satisfy its judgment by garnishing against your bank account or wages. In Tennessee the judgment creditor must take additional steps to have the right to take your property away from you. A judgment creditor can place a lien against any real estate that you own in the public record. This lien will stop you from selling it until the debt is paid.