GET RID OF JUDGMENTS
Judgments! How do they affect you? What can you do to get rid of them? How much do they really cost you? You owe a creditor some money. You can’t pay! You just don’t have the cash and there is nothing left in your budget. You tell the creditors, but they just want their money! This is how it usually starts out. You have every intention of paying your bills, but you just can’t for one reason, or another. The creditor decides to take its debt collection process a step further and starts a lawsuit against you. In most cases, there is nothing to defend. You know you owe the money. The bottom line: the creditor gets a judgment against you. In Mississippi, the entry of a judgment against you can cause a creditor to garnish your wages as well as put a lien on all real property you have in the County where the judgment is recorded. The judgment lien is like having a creditor get an additional mortgage against your property. Worse, assuming there is some value in your real property above the mortgages, the creditor may well be able to put your real property up for sale at public auction. This would be a tough way to lose your home.
To make things worse, the judgment gets bigger and bigger because the creditor has a right to interest as long as the judgment is left unpaid. Then adding insult to injury the creditor can also come after other things you own, like your money in the bank and possibly other personal property. Most creditors must give you a right to claim certain “exemptions” (at least in Mississippi). Exemptions are categories of property that, up to certain limits, the creditor cannot take, but only if you claim them. If you are like most people, by the time you need to claim these exemptions, you are so dazed, confused, and use to ignoring everything, you don’t even fill out the paperwork to claim your exemptions. That’s not good at all, because not doing so gives the creditor the right to come after almost everything you have, except for money in retirement accounts (other than IRA’s) and maybe your wages, depending upon the laws of the State you live in. Even wages are not protected from certain creditors, for instance, (1) An ex-spouse is coming after you for payment of alimony or child support, (2) The State and Federal government for back taxes, or (3) Student loan lenders for overdue student loans.