Paying Your Judgment
If you lost in court, the money you owe is called the judgment. You are called the Judgment Debtor. The person you owe money to is called the Judgment Creditor. Judgments appear on your credit report, so be sure to update your report after you pay.
There are three ways to pay a judgment:
Pay the court
To pay your judgment directly to the court, take these steps:
The clerk will enter a Satisfaction of Judgment in the court record. This means you have paid your judgment. The clerk’s office will also notify the Judgment Creditor that you have paid. Remember to update your credit report.
Pay directly to the creditor
Mail or deliver a check or money order to the Judgment Creditor. Make sure to keep proof of payment, such as your canceled check. Once the Judgment Creditor receives your payment, ask them to file the form Acknowledgment of Satisfaction of Judgment with the court within 14 days. This form tells the court that you have paid the judgment.
What if the Judgment Creditor does not submit a Satisfaction of Judgment?
I have proof I paid
If the Judgment Creditor does not file this form, and you have proof of payment, get the form called Declaration of Judgment Debtor Regarding Satisfaction of Judgment. This form is only available at the court clerk's office. Fill out the form, attach your proof of payment and file it with the court. The clerk will enter a Satisfaction of Judgment in your court record. Remember to update your credit report.
I don’t have proof I paid
If the Judgment Creditor does not file the Acknowledgment of Satisfaction of Judgment form and you do not have proof of payment, take these steps:
The clerk’s office may schedule a hearing date and notify all parties. If the court is convinced that you have paid, the court will enter the Satisfaction of Judgment. Remember to update your credit report.
Pay in installments
To set up a payment plan, take these steps:
The Clerk will mail copies of the request to the Judgment Creditor. If the Judgment Creditor objects to your payment plan, a hearing may be scheduled. The judge will consider a payment plan based on the information received from both you and the Judgment Creditor. Once you pay the judgment in full, be sure the Judgment Creditor files the Satisfaction of Judgment so you can update your credit report.
If you miss a payment, the entire amount is due and the Judgment Creditor can take action to collect from you.
Updating your credit report
To update your credit report and show the debt as paid, do the following:
Contact us for more information or speak with one of our counselors at (800) 593-8222. If you live outside of Southern California, call us at (213) 974-9759.
Updated Feb. 26, 2009
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