What should I do about an old judgement that is now being enforced?

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What should I do about an old judgement that is now being enforced?

I had a car accident in 1992 I was at a stop sign. I looked both ways and saw there were no cars coming, so I started to make my left turn and barely reached the divider of the road when a student driver hit me. I couldn’t see where he came from me. The owner of the driving school sued me for $2500. He took me to court and the judge asked if it was my fault. It was my first time in court and I was nervous so I said it was my fault. The judge granted him $4000 but I had no money to pay and he leined my house. Now I found out today that he got a court order to wipe and freeze my bank account. He’s suing me for $14,000.

Asked on July 22, 2011 California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The statute of limitations is how long a creditor has to collect on a debt. For a debt arising from a court judgment against you--which you state the creditor has--the statutory period is 10 years in CA; therefore, the creditor can act against you on the judgment for up to 10 years from the date the court/judge gave him the judgment, which, since the accident was 1992 and this is 2011, means the can probably still enforce.

Generally speaking, during the time there is a judgment against you but you do not pay it, the creditor can obtain interest against you, which may account for the size of the amount ($14k) he is looking for.

You should obtain attorney to represent and advise you. Possibly, the attorney may be able to fight the judgment, or at least reduce the amount owed, on some grounds. Alternately, the attorney may advise you to declare bankruptcy after considering the situation and your finances, as a way to discharge (eliminate) the debt.


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