So, a judgment has been entered against you. Judgments are financial cancer and the longer they sit the more exposure you have. By law judgments accrue interest at 10% per year. So, if it sits… it grows. The trick here is settlement.
The trick here is to keep the Judgment Creditor from getting your money and property. This will cause them to want to settle. The way to stop them is through claiming exemptions and getting help from the Court to enter a very low payment plan. Judgment Creditors will take a discount if they know they will get more money faster. A dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow.
First thing you need to do is file Protected Income and Assets form. Tenn. Code Ann. §26-2-103 allows a Judgment Debtor to claim exempt up to $10,000 worth of property. This is in addition to property that is identified as exempt by law. This should be filed right away because once execution of the judgment starts it could be too late.
Second, if a Judgment Creditor is attempting to take property that is exempt by law, then a Motion to Quash will need to be filed. Tenn. Code Ann. §26-2-103 through 26-2-114 outline what is exempt and how to claim the exemption. You really should get a lawyer’s help with this. The most common exemptions are Social Security or SSI income, Unemployment, Veterans benefits, Government Pensions, Tools of Trade, and Retirement.
Finally, a Judgment Debtor might want to file a Motion for Installment Payments pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. §26-2-216. Here is the thing… if you have a lot of money and assets don’t even try this. Along with the motion you will have to file an Affidavit of Income and Property showing everything you own. This might not be a great idea if you have a lot of property or money. If this is appropriate and its granted the Court will set a payment plan and the idea is to get it as low as you can so you can seek settlement later. Remember, a dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow, remember.
If you have a judgment entered against you it is vital that you get it resolved quickly and get a satisfaction of judgment filed. Judgments last ten years and they can easily be renewed and all the while they grow with interest and costs. The best advice is to get advice from a lawyer and have a lawyer assist you in resolving what can be a financial disaster. Give us a call we can help.