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My husband and I are working on repairing our credit. I have learned a lot from this forum on how to approach most of our accounts. However, there is one that I do not know how to handle. My husband has a judgment on his credit from Nov/2007. By the way we are in SC. Here is the info:

Date filed: Nov 2007

Responsibility: Individual

Claim amount: $1,551

Date Resolved:Not reported

Liability amount:Not reported

Status:Civil claim judgment

Judgment in favor of: American General Finance

Can somebody please give us some guidance on how to handle a judgment.? Should I start by disputing? Should I try to settle?

This is scheduled to be removed on Nov/2014. If we pay it, does it reset the date of removal. I am afraid to make any arrangements or pymts.

Also, is there anyway to negotiate deletion if PIF or SIF?

Thanks for making it this far.!!

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Ok, a judgment is an entirely different thing than a collection. Your husband already lost in a court of law and a judgment was awarded to the collector against your husband.

Of course, if he didn't show up to the hearing because he wasn't served properly, then it may be possible to get the judgment vacated. You will need to look up your states' statutes to see under which conditions you can (your husband can) vacate the judgment.

If you go to this link it will give you a little info on judgments and down at the bottom of the page is the statutes for South Carolina so you know where to look for accurate info.

Judgment Liens on Property in South Carolina | Nolo.com

This is not a matter of waiting until the judgment drops off of your husbands credit report. Judgments in SC last for ten years (I didn't look up the rest of it, but in many places they can be renewed).

Step one: get a copy of the judgement and the court case showing how your husband was served.

Step two: look up the SC statutes so you can see what options you have.

Step three: if you have to pay it, it can be negotiated. Don't ever mention you are looking to buy a house or property because then they will stick it to you for the full amount plus the accruing interest. Judgments accrue interest from the date of inception. Once you get it paid make darn sure you get a satisfaction recorded. Or better yet, see if the attorney will vacate as a condition of payment (that's not always possible, but worth trying).

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A judgment in SC is good for 10 years. During that time, it constitutes a lien on your home. You won't be able to refinance until the judgment is settled. If you try to sell your home, you'll need to pay the judgment. However, the judgment cannot renewed after the 10 year period, so it can no longer be enforced.

During this 10 year period, they could try to enforce the judgment depending upon your property and exemptions. The homestead exemptions that apply for bankruptcy also apply for judgments. For instance, in bankruptcy around $50,000 of the equity in your home is protected. If the home is jointly owned by a spouse, that exemption doubles to $100,000.

But as Denita said, if you don't remember being sued, make sure you were properly served. You can go to the courthouse and look in your case file. There should be a certificate or affidavit of service showing how you were served.

I don't know how often judgments are enforced in our state. Here's the link to the homestead exemptions.

South Carolina Legislature Mobile

Edited by BV80
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