Is There a Statute of Limitations on Judgments?

In Valuable Intelligence

The statute of limitations is your time limit when it comes to judgments. The statute of limitations is what governs the amount of time a judgment is enforceable. Due to the strict nature of the statute of limitations, courts offer extensions for judgments that reach the statute of limitations in order for creditors to have enough time to collect what they are owed. It is understandable to be frustrated with a debtor who constantly avoids phone calls, payment requests, and even moves states to avoid paying what they owe. But do not give up or else your judgment may lapse and become unenforceable.

How long is the statute of limitations on judgments?

The statute of limitations varies depending upon the state in which the judgment was made. Even if you move to a new state, the statute of limitations is set by the state in which the judgment was rendered. Courts recognize that creditors have the right to move and still enforce their judgment, but they must follow state law where the judgment was rendered. Judgments are time sensitive and should be treated as such. Enforce your judgment as soon as possible to avoid having to extend your judgment.

Can I get my judgment extended?

Yes, you can get your judgment extended. The courts allow for judgment extensions as long as you file your paperwork in time. If your judgment has lapsed past the statute of limitations, you may still be able to revive your judgment. In some states, lapsed judgments may be reinstated and made enforceable again. This is avoidable as long as you file for an extension before the statute of limitations has arrived. In some states, you still have a chance to enforce a lapsed judgment, but do not rely on this unless you are 100% positive.

Are there penalties for not collecting on my judgment in time?

No, there are no penalties for not collecting your judgment on time. However, if you let your judgment lapse, and do not file for an extension or revival, your judgment will become void and unenforceable. Your judgment may be revivable in some states but there are states that will not allow a judgment to be revived. Find out if you can file for an extension in your state by viewing our statute of limitations chart. Every state is different in regards to how long they allow judgments to be enforced and it is worth your time to know how long your state’s statute of limitations lasts.

Can a judge reinstate my judgment if it has passed the statute of limitations?

A judge may reinstate your judgment, called “reviving”, in certain states. A lapsed judgment does not mean it is null and void immediately. Certain states allow for judgments to be reinstated and made legally enforceable again depending upon the situation. The courts are well aware that deadbeat debtors will do everything in their power to avoid paying what they owe even in the face of a court judgment. This is why courts are sympathetic toward creditors when debtors are evasive.

The statute of limitations is one of the most important statutes controlling judgments in the United States. Ignoring the statute of limitations on your judgment will end poorly. In some states, a lapsed judgment may be revived, but if you live in a state where judgments can not be revived, your judgment will be null and unenforceable. An unenforceable judgment is useless and waste of time. Avoid this possibility by recognizing the statute of limitations and enforcing your judgment on the debtor quickly. If you give a debtor an inch, they will take a mile.