The feeling of winning a judgment can quickly wear off after months of waiting for the debtor to pay. Even after years, debtors are known to avoid paying even after a judgment has been made through the courts. Legal documents and demands can have little effect on a debtor who simply ignores and avoids responsibility. In these cases, the statute of limitations on your judgment may run out and your debtor will suffer little to no penalty for avoiding paying what they owe. To avoid this situation, make sure to pay attention to the statute of limitations on your judgment and move to collect aggressively if time is running out.
How long is a judgment good for?
There is a time limit for collecting a judgment from a court after you have won a lawsuit against a debtor and are awarded a judgment. The time limit depends upon the state the judgment was rendered because judgments follow what is known as the statute of limitations. View our statute of limitations chart on judgments per state. As you can tell, depending upon the state, you may have to file for renewals quicker than others if you want to take advantage of interest on the owed debt.
How long is the statute of limitations in my state?
Every state has a different statute of limitations for judgments rendered by the court. Once a judgment is rendered, the creditor has a set amount of time before the judgment runs out. If the creditor does not collect in the specific amount of time, they do have the option of petitioning the courts for a renewal which, in some states, can lead to a judgment being made into a permanent legal obligation.
Can My Judgment Expire?
Yes, there is a statute of limitations, on how long a judgment is enforceable. This period of time is usually ten to twenty years starting from the date the judgment was awarded. You may find our state-by-state statute of limitations chart useful. Most states allow you to extend the judgment past initial number of years your judgment was active – Please check with your state and their process for renewing the judgment. Letting a judgment expire is avoidable.
How long do I have to collect my judgment?
The courts will inform you on how long you have to collect your judgment, but if you forget, see our chart below that clearly displays the statute of limitations depending upon state. All you have to do is find the date when the judgment was rendered(refer to your court documents) and then use the chart to calculate how many years you have to collect. If you need to know the exact date, it is best to consult with legal counsel. In many cases, you will be able to petition the courts for a renewal on your judgment depending upon your circumstances. Permanent judgments may be rendered if the debtor continually avoids paying the judgment.
Is there a statute of limitations on judgments?
Absolutely. It depends upon which state the judgment is rendered, but there is a statute of limitations on judgments established in every state of the United States.
Do not leave your judgment sitting idle while you hope your debtor comes up with what they owe. Debtors are notorious for avoiding responsibility at all costs and will ignore court orders to avoid their debts(more often than not). The best way to avoid this is to aggressively pursue your judgment as long as necessary. If time continues to go by, pay attention to the statute of limitations in order to know when your judgment might expire. If the statute of limitations is near, the best thing to do is to petition the court for a renewal or permanent legal obligation. You will not be able to collect any judgment that has expired past the statute of limitations.