Judgment creditors have a time period within which they can enforce a judgment. They can also renew the judgment after a period of time in an attempt to collect debt that has not been paid to them. Although all states allow for judgments to be renewed, they have different laws regarding the amount of times a judgment may be renewed and after how long. Finding out if a judgment has been renewed has been made easy by access to online court records in every state.
Check the court records to find out if a judgment has been renewed. If your creditor has renewed the judgment he will do so at the court where the judgment was first issued. Visit the court and give the court clerk information about the case such as your name, name of the creditor and the date when the judgment was issued. The clerk will provide you with any records and new information concerning the judgment.
Conduct an online search as an alternative to visiting the courts. Information about judgments is public record and can be accessed for free. Use your state’s Department of Justice site to access public records on judgments. You can also use online directories such as 50states.com as a link to state by state public records of judgments (see Resources).
Receive a Notice of Renewal of Judgment from your creditor informing you about a renewed judgment. Creditors are required to personally serve you with information about a renewed judgment. You can also receive this by first-class mail. A proof of service is sent to the court by the creditor to demonstrate that he has served you with a notice.
Order a free copy of your credit report online at annualcreditreport.com, by calling 1-877-322-8228, or by mailing the completed form to Annual Credit Report Request Service (see Resources). Credit bureaus frequently check new court records through a federal records database, and pending or renewed judgments will be indicated on your credit report.
Contact your judgment creditor as a last resort to find out if a judgment has been renewed.
Judgments can be renewed for successive 10-year periods. Note that once a judgment has been renewed, it cannot be renewed again until five years later.
Joseph Elmadam is a self-motivated writer who has been writing professionally since 2005. He studied international journalism at the University of Westminster, London, U.K., gaining a master's degree. Joseph has written several articles for “Edgware and Mill Hill Times.”