It has been a long day. You spent all morning waiting for your court hearing. When the time finally came, it took about an hour for the judge to find in the plaintiff’s favor and enter a judgment against you. Now you are sitting and waiting for the plaintiff’s attorney. As you ponder how you’re going to answer questions about your employment and assets, you seriously consider trying to avoid payment.
This scenario is all too common in the arena of civil law. Plaintiffs win judgments against defendants, only to never collect on them. Why? Because defendants use every trick in the book to avoid paying. Eventually, plaintiffs give up and walk away.
If you ever find yourself on the wrong end of a judgment, pay what you owe. Do not thumb your nose at the creditor like a spoiled rich kid who gets away with misbehaving because mommy and daddy have money. If you need further motivation, here is the number one reason to pay that judgment entered against you:
It’s the Right Thing to Do
Civil judgments are not entered lightly. When they are entered, they constitute a legal recognition of an existing debt. With that legal recognition comes a moral and ethical responsibility to pay. In the simplest possible terms, paying up is the right thing to do.
Admittedly, morality and ethics are sorely lacking in modern culture. You may be of the mindset that the judgment against you is invalid because the original case was invalid. You are entitled to that opinion. However, understand that the plaintiff and court both disagree with you.
Think of it this way: how do you feel about people who owe you money and don’t pay up? If you are normal human being, you do not take too kindly to that. You expect your buddy to repay that $100 you loaned him last month. If he doesn’t, you consider him a deadbeat. How is that situation any different from you refusing to pay a civil judgment?
Judgment Collectors Are Relentless
If doing the right thing is not enough reason to motivate you to pay, consider this: specialized judgment collection agencies are relentless. Salt Lake City’s Judgment Collectors is one example. They will pursue you to the ends of the Earth if necessary. And make no mistake about it, judgment collectors are more skilled than general debt collectors.
Specialized judgment collectors are experts in skip tracing. They are experts in asset discovery. They know how to find deadbeats no matter where they try to hide. They know how to look for assets that general collection agencies would never discover.
You’ll Hurt Your Own Finances
If you still don’t have enough motivation to do the right thing, consider one last proposition: skipping out on a judgment will only hurt your finances. The judgment alone will cause problems for as long as it shows up on your credit report. But consider the fact that judgments can be enforced for up to 10 years in some states. They can remain on your credit report for another seven years after being settled.
Doing the math paints a pretty ugly picture. If it took nine years to enforce a judgment against you, and the judgment stayed on your record for another seven years, you would be looking at 16 years of poor credit that would affect everything from your ability to get a mortgage to the rate you would pay on a car loan.
Judgments are no light matter. If one is entered against you, do the right thing and pay it.