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Judgments

So you fell behind on your credit card payments and now the credit card lender has sued you. While you should prepare for a defense as soon as possible, this blog may have reached you too late and now they have entered a judgment against you. If the suit was filed with a Magisterial District Justice, I have good news and bad news. The good news is that the judgment does not really give the lender much other than the right to collect since the judgment does not impose any liens. The bad news is that the lender now has a number of weapons in its arsenal to collect the judgment, such as requiring you to answer questions about your personal bank accounts and property, sending the constable or sheriff out to sell your personal belongings, or garnishing your bank accounts. If the judgment is filed with the Prothonotary in your county, I have bad news and bad news. The first bad news is that the judgment is automatically a lien on all of the real estate you own in that county. And the lien can be transferred to any other county or state in which you own property. The second bad news is that the whole arsenal available to the lender with a MDJ judgment is also available to a Prothonotary judgment holder.

While it is best to get legal representation before the judgment is entered, all is not lost if the judgment exists. Prior to the lender executing its options (and adding more attorney fees), you may be able to work something out to pay the debt. If that doesn’t work, you can wait and see (and who knows what that will bring), or you can consider filing for bankruptcy to avoid (that is, get rid of) the lien and stop any further collection activity. While bankruptcy should never be entered into hastily, it is an option by which the lien can be avoided through a series of options depending upon the type of lien and your financial circumstances. These procedures can also apply to other liens, such as tax liens, depending upon your circumstances. If you have a judgment entered upon you, or you anticipate that one may be entered against you, contact us. We give second chances on Second Street.

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