Four Options for Dealing With a Judgment In Minnesota:
1. SETTLE THE JUDGMENT BY PAYING A LUMP SUM
You can make a deal with the law firm that sued you. This is called settling the debt. They will often make a deal where you pay them 50-70% of the balance all at once in a lump sum. If you do this, then you owe taxes on whatever debt is forgiven and other collectors might even sue you while you are paying off this judgment.
2. FIGHT THE JUDGMENT IN COURT
If you have proof that the judgment is for a debt that isn’t yours or that you paid already, then you can hire a lawyer to try and vacate the judgment. You only have a short time after the judgment is entered to attempt this. The court system is set up for people to fight the lawsuit when the lawsuit is first started, not after the judgment is entered. At this point in time, the judge already felt that the creditor won, so this will be a difficult battle.
3. IGNORE THE JUDGMENT
You can ignore it. If they never find your job or bank accounts and you don’t have a house or any other land, the judgment is not very powerful. They can’t use it to arrest you, or physically harm you or your family. Technically they can come to your residence and auction off a second car and certain other items like collectibles, firearms, motorcycles, campers, and trailers. But they rarely do this because it is difficult to arrange in practice.
4. VOID THE JUDGMENT BY FILING BANKRUPTCY
Bankruptcy voids the judgment completely and stops bank freezes, garnishments, and liens on houses right from the first day of the bankruptcy. Walker and Walker can file the bankruptcy for no attorney’s fees up front, and we deal with the courts for you.
Bankruptcy is almost always the cheapest and easiest option because you don’t owe taxes, and it’s much cheaper than hiring a lawyer to fight the judgment in court. It is also much more likely to succeed. We can tell as soon as the free consultation whether a bankruptcy would be successful or not.
Most people don’t consider bankruptcy because they are worried about their credit scores. Let me ask you this. What’s your credit score now? What will it be like if 25% of your paycheck starts to get garnished? Most people we work with have a 720 score only 2 years after bankruptcy. If you have judgments, then this is probably better than your credit score is right now. You can get car loans 1 day after filing, credit cards only 2 months after filing, and a mortgage after only two years.