Default Judgment – What To Do
If you received notice of a default judgment, it most likely means that a creditor successfully filed a lawsuit against you and obtained the judgment in your absence. This judgment is just as valid as a judgment obtained in your presence. If you feel the default judgment was improperly obtained against you, you can file a motion to nullify or void the judgment. If you’re successful, the creditor will have to start the process over from scratch. However, if the debt is a valid debt, the creditor will prevail in a new lawsuit. In most cases, it is simply best to start analyzing your options in addressing the debt.
What Creditors Can Do With A Default Judgment
Once a creditor has a default judgment, they can start judgment execution. This is simply the process of using the North Carolina statutory rules for collecting on a judgment. You will know when a creditor is attempting to execute on their judgment because you will receive a Motion To Claim Exempt Property form. You have 20 days to respond to this form or you lose your right to protect or “exempt” property from the creditor. It’s important you follow the rules when submitting the form, and we can assist with this process.
After the 20 days passes, the creditor can request that the clerk of court issue a Writ of Execution. This is simply a document which directs your local Sheriff to attempt to seize property from you which is not exempt. This includes bank accounts, cars, jewelry, or any other valuable assets. The Sheriff will then proceed to sell the items in accordance with the statutory procedures.
What Are My Options In Fighting A Default Judgment
As mentioned above, appealing the judgment is an option, but not one which usually ends with a different result. Your two primary options are to engage in debt settlement with the creditor, or file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy to discharge the debt along with most other debt you have. Whether to settle the debt or file bankruptcy is both a personal decision and a financial decision. While our firm routinely orchestrates debt settlements for clients, there are some situations where financially speaking, a bankruptcy is a much better option.
Consult With A Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer
If you received a default judgment, you should not delay. Reach out today to request a free consultation. We will help you understand your options, the most likely outcomes, and make a decision as to how to move forward. We know it’s a stressful time. We have seen countless clients gracefully address debt situations and make a full financial recovery—your financial future is bright. We hope you choose to recover with us.