A judgment creditor is the winning plaintiff in a debt collection lawsuit. The defendant must pay the judgment order for the bad debt as required by law. If she does not, the judgment creditor can seek an additional court order to obtain a lien against the defendant’s property to ensure payment.
All judgments are public report, and, in Louisiana, a judgment lien remains on a consumer credit file for 10 years. After receiving written notification from the judgment creditor, the court notifies the three major credit bureaus -- TransUnion, Experian and Equifax -- that the judgment lien is satisfied. The court will not remove the judgment lien from the debtor’s consumer credit file until it expires.
To receive a judgment, the plaintiff must prove that a past due debt is unlikely to be repaid outside of court. The plaintiff may provide supporting documentation, such as an original written contract or repayment agreement and evidence of a charge-off. According to Louisiana state law, a charge-off must occur when debt reaches the 180-day mark. A charge-off means debt is written off at a significant loss.
Enforcement of a Judgment Lien
If a debtor fails to pay a judgment, the judgment creditor may enforce the judgment by garnishing the debtor’s wages, freezing his bank account or placing a lien against his property. The judgment creditor must obtain a court order before taking ownership of the debtor's property. Every state mandates the amount of time creditors have to execute a judgment lien.
To enforce a judgment lien and take ownership of a debtor’s property, a judgment creditor must foreclose on the property. Like a bank foreclosing on an unpaid mortgage loan, the judgment creditor must file a writ of execution in a Louisiana civil court to initiate the foreclosure process. A foreclosure terminates any legal rights the debtor has to the property.
- BCSAlliance.com: State Statutes of Limitation on Debt Collection
- Federal Trade Commission: Fair Credit Reporting Act
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "What Is a Judgment?" Accessed March 16, 2020.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "What Is a Statue of Limitations On a Debt?" Accessed March 16, 2020.
- Texas Law Help. "What Is an Affirmative Defense?" Accessed March 16, 2020.
- Federal Trade Commission. "Time-Barred Debts." Accessed March 16, 2020.
- The Florida Bar. "The Life of a Money Judgment in Florida Is Limited for Only Some Purposes." Accessed March 16, 2020.
- Virginia Law. "§ 8.01-251 Limitations on Enforcement of Judgments." Accessed March 16, 2020.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "How Long Does Negative Information Remain on My Credit Report?" Accessed March 16, 2020.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "What Is a Garnishment?" Accessed March 16, 2020.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "Can a Debt Collector Take My Social Security or VA Benefits?" Accessed March 16, 2020.
- County of Napa. "Real Property Levy - Writ of Execution." Accessed March 16, 2020.
- U.S. Marshals Service. "Service of Process: Writ of Execution." Accessed March 16, 2020.
- National Association of REALTORS®. "What Is a Property Lien? An Unpaid Debt That Could Trip Up Your Home Sale." Accessed March 16, 2020.
Charlie Gaston has written numerous instructional articles on topics ranging from business to communications and estate planning. Gaston holds a bachelor's degree in international business and a master's degree in communications. She is fluent in Spanish and has extensive travel experience.