What Does Being Judgment Proof Mean?

by Betty
(North Carolina)

What does it mean to be judgement proof, and how do I know if I am? Thank you.

Reply from DebtCollectionAnswers.com:

Great question Betty! This term isn't really a legal term, but it's used to describe a situation where you don't own any property that could be seized or attached by creditors. The idea is that if you are sued, the creditor or collector might successfully get a judgment against you, but wouldn't really be able to go after your bank account or other property to get paid right away.(Property may include wages, a home, car, or other things you own.)

Being judgment proof doesn't mean you can't be sued - or that a creditor or collector can't get a judgment against you. Sometimes creditors will sue in order to get a judgment so they can try to collect in the future. In most states, judgments last a long time and can be renewed. That allows the creditor or collector to try to collect for a longer period of time since, without a judgment, the statute of limitations may expire on a debt.

However, if you are "judgment proof: and you let the creditor or collector know that, they may decide it's not worth incurring the expense of taking you to court. Over time, the statute of limitations may then expire on the debt so even if they tried to collect at a future date, they may not be able to do so.

The best way to find out if you are judgment proof is to set up a a consultation with a bankruptcy attorney in your state. The bankruptcy attorney can review your financial situation and tell you whether property you own may be at risk. The attorney can also help you decide whether filing for bankruptcy would be a good idea to put the debt behind you.

Again, even if you do not have any way to pay the debt now, a creditor or collector may still decide to sue you and may be awarded a judgment.

Comments for What Does Being Judgment Proof Mean?

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Dec 07, 2011
Judgement proof
by: Anonymous

Google: your state's "Debtor
Exemption Laws" example: "California Debtor Exemption laws"....just change the name of your state.
I suggest that a debtor contact a bankruptcy attorney for assistance in preparing your exemption schedule of exemptions.Make two copies ...have the court clerk sign and stamp both copies...the clerk will keep one copy for the record of the court and need to be filed with the court clerk IF YOU HAVE BEEN SUED AND BEFORE JUDGEMENT IS FINAL. HAVE THE COURT CLERK SIGN AND STAMP BOTH COPIES...THEN MAKE AN ADDITIONAL COPY(KEEP ONE FOR YOUR RECORDS)...AND MAIL THE OTHER STAMPED COPY TO THE ATTORNEY WHO IS SUING YOU. ALWAYS SEND BY CERTIFIED MAIL RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED. OR BETTER YET, TAKE THE COPY BACK TO YOUR ATTORNEY..ASK THEM TO SEND A LETTER ON THEIR LAW FIRM LETTER HEAD ALONG WITH THE COPY.


Jul 24, 2015
Civil law is Worthless
by: Anonymous

If 80% of judgement/debtors in america are "judgement proof" & in america 50% of americans have no net worth, other than for lawyers & courts what is the value of civil suits?

Aug 31, 2015
Credit card debt
by: Anonymous

I filed for bankruptcy in 2013 chapter 7 discharged in 2013. Have acquired 5 cards since early 2014 with a total debt of 12000.00. Have no income except as and a small pension total 2200.00 per month. Live in n c - Am I judgement proof?

Reply from DebtCollectionAnswers.com:

Bankruptcy exemptions vary by state and we don't feel comfortable advising you on a forum like this. It's best for you to talk with an attorney who can look at all the facts and circumstances. Have you thought about calling your bankruptcy attorney to discuss your options?

Oct 27, 2015
Judgment proof in n.c
by: Anonymous

My attorney is a smart and says that there is nothing I can do. Says that I will just have to pay them. I cannot get a clear answer from any attorney. There are 6 cards and none of them have over 2k owed.

Reply from DebtCollectionAnswers.com

I am not sure if you left a previous comment, but have you looked into whether you need to file for bankruptcy?

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