Why do Judgments Expire?
Judgments are not permanent court orders unless ruled that way by a judge, and in many states judgments are limited by a strict statute of limitations that does not allow for judgment extensions in perpetuity. The statute of limitations dictates how long a judgment may be enforced and when that time expires. It is best to act on a judgment as soon as possible because debtors will avoid their responsibilities as long as possible. Time is not your friend when it comes to enforcing and collecting on a judgment. The quicker you enforce and collect on your judgment the better, otherwise your judgment might expire and become useless.
How long do Judgments last for?
Judgments do not last forever. Judgments automatically expire after the statute of limitations is reached. Extensions are available and lapsed judgments are not necessarily void immediately. The statute of limitations is different in each state and it is the creditors responsibility to know how much time they have available to enforce their judgment and if extensions or “revivals” are available. The courts will not help you enforce your judgment, they simply make the judgment and leave the rest to you.
Can I get my Judgment extended by a judge if my debtor evades for years?
Yes. Every state offers pathways for creditors to extend judgments made by the court. The courts are well aware of deadbeat debtors and will offer methods for creditors to extend their judgments in order to get the money they are owed. In many states, a judgment may be extended over and over again until a debtor finally pays up. While in some states they will only grant a single extension in order to enforce your judgment. Make sure to be aware of the statute of limitations, extensions, and possibility of revivals by looking at our state-by-state chart.
Who enforces my Judgment?
You have to enforce your judgment yourself. The courts will give you legal paperwork necessary to enforce your judgment, however, they do not offer services for enforcing that judgment. You have to use companies and services such as WritReady in order to pursue the debt that you are owed. If you do not enforce your judgment, then your debtor will feel as if they have gotten off the hook even with the judgment in place. They will continue to evade as long as you let them and that is why it is important to enforce rather than wait.
How long is the statute of limitations on my Judgment?
This depends wholly on what state the judgment has been made. Every state has a different statute of limitations when it comes to judgments made by the court, and it is your responsibility to know how long you have to enforce your judgment. The courts do not accept “I was not aware” as an excuse to allow your judgment to expire. They are understanding when a debtor is extremely evasive, and as long as you are enforcing the judgment legally, courts will side in your favor.
Judgments can expire if they go past the statute of limitations. In some states, judgments can be revived and made enforceable again if they lapse, but do not rely on this ability because your state may not allow judgment revivals. Do not let deadbeat debtors get away with what they owe. Use WritReady to get the information you need to enforce your judgment now instead of later. Our professionals have years of experience and will be able to get the information you need to enforce your judgment. Stop beating around the bush with your debtor and go straight for their bank accounts.