By Rule 3-625, a judgement lasts for 12 years. It can be extended by filing this form.
- Evaluate My Situation
- File a Case
- Prepare My Case
- Appeal a Decision
- Find a Form
Do this only if you have no defense at all. Even if you owe the entire amount, it never hurts to make an offer to the other side. You may be able to get the judgment reduced or pay in installments.
If the other side requested an Affidavit of Judgment (see the complaint form) and you do not answer or show up, the judge may decide in favor of the other side. In fact, the Court may not even require the person who sued you to come to the hearing. The Court may simply send you a notice with the amount of the judgment and the date the judgment was entered into official court records.
TIP – The other side still has to prove its case. It is possible that the judge will not find that it has proved its case. But do not count on it.
If you have a low income and few assets, you may be collection proof (also called judgment proof). If you meet the criteria for being “collection proof” in Maryland, it will not make much difference right now if you have a judgment entered against you because the other side will not be able to collect. However, the judgment can be collected later, once your situation improves. In addition, you may feel that it is fair to pay your debt as soon as you are able.
If you have a good case, you should present it to the court, even if you are collection proof.
TIP – If you have any defense at all, don’t rely on the fact that you are collection proof to protect yourself. Although it may prevent the other side from pursuing you now, a judgment in Maryland lasts for 12 years. In addition, the other side can renew the judgment for another 12 years. Maybe at some point, you will have a job or other assets that might be subject to a judgment entered now. If you can get the amount reduced, now is the time to ask the court to do so.Read the Rule and Law: Cts. & Jud. Prod. § 5-102(a)(3) & MD Rule 3-625
The judge will decide on the exact amount. Also, you may be charged for court costs or interest.
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