What Does It Mean When I Have A Judgment Against Me In Maryland?
As a Maryland Bankruptcy Attorney, I have many clients come to me who have judgments entered against them. Many times they aren’t really sure what this means. A judgment is a court order that says you owe the creditors an amount of money. The main difference between this and a regular debt is in the collection process.
A creditor without a judgment can call you or send you letters to try to get you to pay. If the debt is secured by property like a car, they may repo the car. But that is about all they can do. A creditor with a judgment however, can use the power of the court to try to get you to pay. They can get a court order to garnish your paycheck or freeze your bank account. They can send you a list of questions known as interrogatories that you must answer. They can drag you into court for an oral examination where they ask you questions about your finances.
If you don’t show up for the oral examination, they can ask the court to issue a “show cause” order. This means you must go to court and tell they judge why you didn’t show up for the examination. And if you don’t show up for that, they can ask the judge to issue a warrant for your arrest!
Sometimes creditors without judgments will threaten some of the above actions. This may be a violation of fair debt collection laws or even illegal. If any of your creditors tell you they will take some action, ask for proof of the judgment. The good news is filing a bankruptcy will stop most creditors in their tracks. If you want more information or to make an appointment, call us at (443) 860-0088