How to Pay Off Judgments

Take a proactive approach to pay off judgments.

Take a proactive approach to pay off judgments.

If someone has a judgment against you, this means that the case went to court and you lost. The money the court awarded to the other party – the judgment creditor – is the judgment, and you – the judgment debtor – have an obligation to pay this amount. Be proactive in this situation and pay off judgments to protect your credit rating from further damage from garnished wages.

Step 1

Find out the total amount due for the judgment by contacting the clerk of court. There may be fees and interest accrued, which can cause the judgment amount to increase over time.

Step 2

Request the form that must accompany judgment payment from the clerk of court that issued the judgment. Fill out the form. Write a check to the court or get a money order for the total amount due plus filing fee and submit it along with the required form to the clerk of court.

Step 3

Write a check or money order to the judgment creditor if you'd rather pay directly. Write a short note asking the judgment creditor to file the appropriate form that acknowledges the satisfaction of judgment with the clerk of court within two weeks of receiving payment. This notifies the court that you have paid the judgment. Mail the payment and the note to the judgment creditor. Keep your cancelled check or copy of the money order as proof of payment.

Step 4

Petition the court to set up an installment plan to pay off the judgments over time if you can’t pay the judgments in full. Contact the clerk of court to request the form you need to complete. Fill out the form and file it with the clerk of court. The clerk of court will process the request and submit it to the judgment creditor. If the judgment creditor rejects your request for installment payments, a judge may need to decide the matter.

Step 5

Pay the installment payments as you arranged them until you pay the judgment in full. Ask the judgment creditor to file the satisfaction of judgment form with the court after you finish paying off the judgment.

Step 6

Check with the clerk of court to make sure that your court record includes a satisfaction of judgment showing that you paid the judgment in full. If your court record doesn’t include this satisfaction of judgment form, visit the clerk of court to file the appropriate form that declares that you have paid the judgment. You must attach your proof of payment with the form.

Step 7

Request copies of your credit reports from the Annual Credit Report website. You will receive credit reports from the three main credit bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. If you find information about the judgments on any of the credit reports, follow the instructions on the credit reports for sending documentation to prove that you satisfied the judgment.

Step 8

Visit the clerk of court to request and pay for the number of satisfaction of judgment forms you need to send to the credit bureaus. Mail the satisfaction of judgment form along with the credit report to each credit bureau that reported your judgments.

About the Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.

Photo Credits

  • Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images