One of the more common questions we hear is whether a judgment is subject to a statute of limitations or not. We often get this question after a client has tried unsuccessfully for years to collect on an unpaid judgment. That aside, the answer to the question is pretty straightforward: judgments are subject to statutes of limitations.
States govern civil litigation and judgments differently. On average, the statute of limitations on a civil judgment is anywhere between seven and ten years. Here in Utah, where Judgment Collectors is based, the statute of limitations is eight years. The good news is that judgments can be renewed. Creditors do not have to let them expire.
If you were to successfully have a judgment entered against a debtor, you would have eight years from the date of that judgment to enforce it. Indeed, that seems like a lot of time at the start of the process. But far too many creditors do not have the resources to make judgment collection a top priority. Before they know it, they find themselves running out of time.
Utah regulations stipulate that a creditor must file a Motion to Renew Judgment prior to the existing judgment’s expiration date. So if you have a judgment that expires on January 30, you would have to file your motion prior to that date. The expiration of the renewed judgment would depend on when the ruling is made.
For example, if you file a Motion to Renew Judgment prior to January 30 but it isn’t ruled on until February 10, the new expiration date will also be January 30, albeit eight years down the road. All of this is to say that the Motion to Renew doesn’t have to be ruled on prior to expiration. It just has to be filed before the expiration date.
We think it is good that state law allows judgment renewal despite the existence of statutes of limitations. But we also think it is a good idea for creditors to not wait that long. In other words, don’t even try to collect on an outstanding judgment yourself. Otherwise, you could find yourself facing a statute of limitations.
Judgments are essentially court proceedings. So are judgment renewals. Whenever you get a court involved there is a certain amount of bureaucratic red tape to work through. You already went through it to get the original judgment entered. Why go through it again?
A better option is to get Judgment Collectors involved at the onset. If you have a newly entered judgment that you are just beginning to work on, turn it over to us. Let us do the heavy lifting for you. Meanwhile, your company can get back to doing what it does best.
Among the benefits of working with Judgment Collectors is the fact that we take all the risk. We incur all the financial obligations that come with tracking down creditors and encouraging them to pay. Furthermore, we do not get paid unless we succeed. That means there’s absolutely no financial risk to you or your company.
We fully understand the statute of limitations concept. We also never take a case without full expectation of succeeding. The truth is that we want to get paid. We are going to do everything within our power to make sure that this is the case.
Just remember that judgments are subject to statutes of limitations. If you have a judgment nearing expiration, you may want to look into renewing it. Otherwise, you will be out of luck after it expires.
Published January 25, 2022