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old judgement advice?


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Hey guys,

this forum is an invaluable find to me, but there sure is a lot of info to digest. I live in California, here's my story:

I majorly screwed up my credit about 7 years ago (stupid stupid stupid). Lost my BofA bank account, CC's, etc.. Unfortunately, I still to this day have many oustanding debts and one default judgement. All together I estimate these total between $8,000- $10,000. Not alot really comparatively speaking. The smaller debts are around $200-$300 hundred each, utility/phone, BofA, Amex, and a storage facility. They of course have CA's that vary from Arrow, NCO, Northland Group, North Coast, etc..

The one judgement is for an auto repo and is dated from the court on 05/20/1999 for approx. $5,000. A lawfirm represented the OC, acted as the CA, and sent me the final judgement. (I was served properly and all that, so it's legit) I'm sure interest has been piling on since then, so i'm not sure what the exact amount is now.

Anyway, I have been living under the radar for the past 6 years with no bank account, by putting my paychecks into a relatives account, and paying for things using cash only. Until recently I just assumed that this judgement, along with the other the debts, would go away with time. Wow, was I ever wrong!

I recently dropped off of ChexSystems list after 5 years, and I would like to open a bank account, but i'm sure that it would be frozen and garnished because of this judgement. Settling this matter is a must, but I want to try and make an offer for a reduced amount. I'm wondering if this can be done on a judgement, and what is the best way to approach the lawfirm handling this case. Or should I? If so, what do I need to get in writing to be totally clean of this judgement? I haven't had any correspondence regarding this case since 2001, but on my CR it shows the lawfirm making frequent inquiries up until July of last year (2004).

Something that seems kind of strange or maybe not, is that I can't find anywhere on my CR that shows this debt as being a "judgement". I don't know if that means anything, but here's exactly how it reads on the TU CR:

Balance: $0 Pay Status: >Charged Off as Bad Debt< Updated: 09/1998 Account Type: Installment account High Balance: $4,987 Responsibility: Individual account Date Opened: 04/1995 Credit Limit: $0 Date Closed: 07/1998 Past Due: $0 Loan Type: Automobile Terms: $447 for 60 months Remarks: >Profit and loss write-off<

Estimated date that this item will be removed: 06/2005

So that's where I stand. I thought of calling the lawfirm directly, but then I found this site and figured I better ask a few questions first. Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions. Once again, this forum has been a priceless find. Thanks.


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There are different sections on the credit report that you should look at. One of the first sections is "public records" which has judgements listed there. If it's not there, I guess it was never reported. I might be wrong though. If the reports says the trade-line is dropping of in June, why are you worried? I wouldn't be. As far as the wage garnishment goes, the paperwork to complete that is unbelievable. I doubt they'll go through with it even after this much time. Maybe somebody here knows how to find out if it has been ordered through the court to garnish your wages. I don't know how to find out. There have been a couple times people have threatened me with that and I just laugh at them; you really need to have injured someone personally for them to have the motivation to go through with that. Here are a couple links to look at.


Here is some info I pulled off of this site: http://www.courts.state.md.us/district/selfhelp/civil.html#collections


How do I collect a judgment?

The court will not act on its own to collect the money you are owed. It is up to the individual who has been awarded a judgment to take the steps necessary to enforce it. If the defendant in your case is not willing to pay the debt or work out a payment plan, you will have to complete and file more forms with the court, pay the required filing fees and appear in court for additional hearings.

Hope I helped some.

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Thanks for responding Crew Chief. Those links were very helpful. I'm glad that I found this forum before forking over any money. I sure had a lot of bad assumptions about resolving my credit and debt problems. I've been in denial for 6 years about all of this. Now I know better. But it's been an embarrassing journey.

Today was spent trying to do some more research about the SOL. Not only for my judgement, but also for the other debts on my CR.

However, i'm getting conflicting info about the SOL for California default judgements. Some sites say 10 years, some say 7 years. Still not sure about this.

It also looks like all of my other non-judgement debts have passed the SOL timeframe. Again, not real sure how to determine this, but crossing my fingers.

Like you said Crew Chief, the drop date for the repo debt (judgement) is this coming June, but if I understand things correctly, just because it's dropped from my CR, that doesn't mean it's gone. From what i've read around this forum, since it is an actual judgement, the CA/OC can come after me for years. Is this not true?

As far as wage garnishment goes, i'm not too concerned . It's virtually impossible for anyone except the feds to touch my paycheck. I won't go into detail about that. Trust me. :wink:

My main real concern is a bank account freeze/garnishment. I'd really like to open an account, but not if the CA/OC will jump in and garnish my money because of the judgement. I'm sure the bank would suspend or cancel my new account if that happened. I have waited 5 years to get off of the ChexSystems hitlist, and i'm never going through that nightmare again.

I have alot more to learn before I make any decisions. Once again, thanks for the information.

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