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If a creditor has taken you to court for an unsecured debt and won the case, you now have a judgment filed against you and an important obligation you need to deal with. While you can’t change the past, you can improve the future. There are steps you can take to reduce the burden of a judgment and improve your credit standing.
A judge may grant the creditor that sued you (called the judgment creditor) the ability to collect in a number of ways. Collection action depends on state law, but may include a:
Depending on the state you live in, the judgment creditor many have many years to take collection action, and can usually renew the order for another span of time without having to sue you again.
After the lawsuit you may be surprised to find that the amount of the judgment is far higher than the original debt. This is because court and attorneys fees were added to the balance. Many states also allow the creditor to charge post-judgment interest as well. Because the debt can be large and the collection action severe, know the various methods for handling a judgment and choose the option that makes the most sense for you.
Handling a post-judgment debt swiftly and appropriately is important. While you have fewer ways to resolve the situation than you did before the lawsuit, you do have options. Choose carefully and begin to rebuild your finances.
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