Though we are based in Salt Lake City, UT, Judgment Collectors works on behalf of clients in other states – including Ohio. That being the case, we have a question for potential clients in the Buckeye State: do you know about the four types of judgments in Ohio?
All Ohio judgments are court decisions rendered as a result of civil litigation. Judgments apply to debt collection cases, personal injury cases, product liability, and more. Many of the cases we deal with involve unpaid debts. We work on behalf of clients who just want to be paid.
Debt collection suits in Ohio can be resolved in one of four ways:
A default judgment is the worst possible result for the defendant. Also known as the judgment debtor, the defendant is subject to default if they do not actively participate in the legal process. Failure to participate gives the judge no other choice but to rule against the debtor by default.
Note that there are multiple ways to be guilty of failing to participate. Right from the start, a debtor can refuse a summons; he can also receive the summons but fail to respond. A defendant can default by not showing up in court on the assigned date. One way or the other, the results of default are always the same.
There are a couple of ways to participate in the legal process and still avoid a trial. One of them is to seek a consent judgment. A consent judgment may be entered by the court if the two parties involved agree to some sort of settlement. A monthly payment plan is a good example.
Let us say a debtor does not dispute the amount owed. His only problem is that he cannot afford to pay the entire balance up front. If he and the creditor can agree to monthly installments, they can request the judge enter a consent judgment. Such a judgment would stipulate that the creditor could not pursue any further collection actions as long as the debtor makes the agreed payments.
A summary judgment is one step beyond the consent judgment but still avoids going to trial. Either party can request a summary judgment if they believe that the evidence in the case is strong enough that no trial is needed. A good example would be the case of a landlord seeking unpaid rent.
The landlord might be able to produce solid documentation that more or less makes the case a slam dunk. There is no need to go to trial because his documents prove the existence of the debt. If the court agrees, a summary judgment can be entered without going to trial.
The final possibility is going all the way to trial, in which case a judgment is pretty much inevitable. The only remaining question is which party will win the case. The losing party is likely to owe debt to the winning party, even if that means the plaintiff loses but still has to pay the defendant’s court costs.
Regardless of the types of judgments in Ohio you have, enforcement becomes the responsibility of the judgment creditor. It is up to the creditor and debtor to figure out how to get the debt settled. When creditors fail, they turn to debt collection agencies like Judgment Collectors.
Judgment Collectors works on behalf of judgment creditors in Ohio and several other states. We would be happy to take a look at your Ohio case and let you know if we can help.
Published October 3, 2023