Renewing Judgments Under Michigan’s Statute of Limitations


The general rule among states regarding the length of time judgment creditors have to collect places a statute of limitations on judgments. Michigan is no exception. Their statute of limitations is 10 years. However, that does not mean failing to collect within the 10-year period brings a judgment to a close. Michigan creditors can renew judgments prior to expiration.

Michigan law offers creditors another advantage in that there are no limits to the number of times a judgment can be renewed. That is not necessarily the case with other states. In a few states, judgments can only be renewed a certain number of times before they automatically expire. Not so in Michigan. Creditors can renew judgements in perpetuity, effectively keeping a judgment alive for as long as it takes to get paid.

Avoiding Having to Renew

As a judgment collection agency that handles Michigan judgments, it has always been our position that it is best to avoid having to renew judgements whenever possible. Working on the same judgment for more than 10 years is certainly not ideal, especially when you understand that time is the creditor’s enemy. The longer it takes to get paid, the less likely payment will ever be made.

That being the case, we also recommend that Michigan judgment creditors do not attempt to try to collect in-house. In-house collections rob creditors of valuable time and resources. Collection prevents a creditor’s accounting staff from fully concentrating on what is most important.

A better alternative is to let a judgment collection agency handle things. An experienced agency has the tools, knowledge, and resources to pursue debtors, find their assets, and encourage them to pay.

When Collection Takes Longer Than Expected

Working with an experienced collection agency is a creditor’s best bet. But even with the best agency in the business, collection sometimes takes longer than expected. Any number of things could slow collection down, including:

  • debtors providing incomplete or inaccurate information
  • debtors purposely working to conceal her assets
  • court proceedings, paperwork, and deadlines
  • a debtor skipping town to avoid payment.

These are all things that judgment creditors deal with on a regular basis. Not knowing how to address the delays only extends the time it takes to get paid. Frequent delays stacked up over time can push a judgment right to the edge of expiration. But again, Michigan judgments can be renewed for as long as it takes.

Filing Renewals with the Court

Renewing a judgment in Michigan requires filing paperwork with the court. Paperwork needs to be filed before the current expiration date or the judgment will expire by default. Once filed, the paperwork is reviewed by the court and, provided all the creditor’s ducks are in a row, a renewal is granted. The creditor then has an additional 10 years to collect.

An experienced attorney would know all of this. That being the case, it is not unusual for judgment creditors to turn their cases over to the same attorneys who represented them in court.

Turning collection over to an attorney is better than trying to collect in-house. Still, attorneys have other things to do. They have other cases to handle and other clients to represent. It still might be better to go with a judgment collection agency instead.

Judgment Collectors works on behalf of Michigan clients to renew judgments in the Great Lake State. We work on a contingency basis, meaning that you only pay us if we succeed. We bear all the costs of what we do as well. Once you turn that judgment over to us, your financial obligation ceases. Contact us to learn more.