Like every other state in the union, Kentucky has an explicit set of rules governing civil judgments. The rules cover everything from how civil lawsuits are instigated to the amount of time creditors have to collect judgments entered in their favor. With those rules comes terminology. If you don’t know the terminology as a creditor, you are automatically behind the eight ball.
Judgment Collectors works with clients to collect on outstanding judgments in Kentucky. If you are having trouble collecting from one or more judgment debtors, we have your back. Let’s talk about how we might go about getting your cases taken care of once and for all.
In the meantime, here are five terms every Kentucky judgment creditor should know and understand:
1. Summary Judgment
A summary judgment is a judgment entered by the court without having to go through trial. Summary judgments can be entered when both parties agree to the facts of the case, including the amount owed. And even when there is disagreement, a summary judgment can still be entered based on a settlement arrangement between the two parties.
Summary judgments tend to be easier because there is no trial. You don’t have attorneys engaged in that back-and-forth that civil trials are known for. Best of all, the debtor essentially admits owing the debt. Obtaining a summary judgment is the first step in collecting that debt.
2. Judgment Renewal
Every state has a statute of limitations determining how long creditors have to collect. In Kentucky, it is 15 years. But what if a creditor reaches the end of that term and still hasn’t collected? In most cases, judgments can be renewed.
Judgment renewal involves going back to court and convincing a judge to grant an additional amount of time to collect. Though there are exceptions to the rule, most renewals go off without a hitch as long as the paperwork is filed with the court before the original judgment expires. If a judgment expires without renewal paperwork being filed, that is the end of it.
3. Vacated Judgment
A vacated judgment is a judgment that is dismissed on appeal. Once vacated, a judgment cannot be enforced. If any writs or other actions have taken place prior to a judgment being vacated (such actions are rare, by the way) they are vacated as well.
The good news for any Kentucky judgment creditor is that getting a judgment vacated is difficult. Judgment debtors face a heavy burden of proof in demonstrating that the original judgment should not have been entered. Vacated judgments are the exception in Kentucky, not the rule.
4. Judgment Satisfaction
Once a judgment is paid to the creditor’s satisfaction, it is considered settled under the law. Note that the debt in question doesn’t have to be paid in full. If a creditor agrees to accept a lesser amount and call it good, that’s fine. The law recognizes a creditor’s right to do so.
5. Default Judgment
A debtor is expected to respond within a certain amount of time after being served with a lawsuit. He is expected to appear in court should the case get that far. If a debtor fails to cooperate, however, a default judgment is normally entered. A default judgment more or less declares the creditor the winner because the debtor did not show up to play.
Collecting judgments in Kentucky is all about knowing how to work the system. We know how here at Judgment Collectors because judgments are all we do. It is our specialty. If you have outstanding judgments that you need help with, don’t hesitate to contact us.