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Thomas Swartz
Thomas Swartz, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 2823
Experience:  Twenty one years experience as a lawyer in New York and New Jersey. Former Appellate Law Clerk.
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How is a judgement against and individual good for before it

Customer Question

How is a judgement against and individual good for before it has to be renewed? The judgment was issued from Magistrate court in November 2008 for non payment of rent. The county refers me to the GA Code but I don't know how to search the answer. Can you help? Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Thomas Swartz replied 1 year ago.
Hello JACUSTOMER,

In Georgia, a judgment becomes dormant and cannot be enforced after 7 years from the date of the rendition of the judgment (Georgia Code § 9-12-60). So, since you judgment was issued in November 2008, you would have until November 2015 to enforce the judgment.

In addition, after a judgment becomes dormant, you have three years to renew the judgment pursuant to Georgia Code § 9-12-61.

So, you have plenty of time. You can find the above references to the Georgia Code Here.

I hope this helps.

Thomas
Thomas Swartz, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 2823
Experience: Twenty one years experience as a lawyer in New York and New Jersey. Former Appellate Law Clerk.
Thomas Swartz and 4 other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your quick reply. I thought I had a 7 year window but wasn't certain. If you are permitted to answer a related question regarding the 12% interest accrual rate, it would be appreciated. I did opt for the unlimited answers with a 7 day free trial. If you can't answer, I understand.


The question is: Is 12% the allowed or proper interest rate on a judgement of this type?


Thank you.

Expert:  Thomas Swartz replied 1 year ago.
Please take a look at Georgia Code 7-4-12. Under Georgia Code 7-4-12, the interest on judgments is the prime rate of interest plus three percent on the date the judgment was issued.

This is so unless the judgment is rendered on a contract or written interest which specifies what the interest rate on the judgment would be. So, if your lease provided such an interest rate, then that is what it would be.

Otherwise you would have to find out what the prime rate of interest was at the time of the judgment, and add 3 percent.

Again, I hope this helps.

Thomas
Expert:  Thomas Swartz replied 1 year ago.
Hello JACUSTOMER,

Is there anything else I can assist you with concerning your question?

Thomas
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

No. Not with that question. The answer was exactly what I needed. But I do have another question that it totally unrelated to that one. Does the program allow me to ask more questions?


Please advise. For now I'll go ahead and ask my question.


 


This has to do with a lien on my property that resulted from a battle with my neighborhood home owners association. I lost the fight and got a consent order to in the amount of $6,126 making monthly installments until it is paid off in the amount of $208.44 per month. I have faithfully paid $209 every month and have a balance now of $1,528.77. However, in March, I called the law firm, who represents the HOA, to ask for a pay off balance so I could refinance my home. They sent me over a pay off letter itemizing the amount and have added attorney fees and other costs that they took out first leaving me with a balance as of March of $2,542.90 (about $805 more than I was ordered to pay). The original consent order included $2,285 in attorney fees and $314.50 in other costs. Now it seems that this law firm has added more fees to it. I didn't incur any charges and I am not their client, but they have charged me an exorbitant amount for absolutely nothing. My question is... Can this law firm add fees and costs to the amount designated in the consent order? And, would I be better just to pay it instead of trying to fight it? Is there something either I can do or you can do for me, inside my membership, that will resolve this dilemma so I can get on with my refinance?


I know this is a long and complicated question, and if it would help, I can scan the consent order, pay off letter, and my spread sheet of payments.


Hope you can help.


Thanks so much,


Carl Erwin, XXX-XXX-XXXX


 

Expert:  Thomas Swartz replied 1 year ago.
Hello gotmick,

I would ask the law firm to explain the additional attorney's fees. It is possible that the original consent order's provision for attorney's fee only related to the attorney's costs in obtaining the consent order, and not in collecting the consent order. But the consent order would have to contain some provision allowing for the collection of these additional attorney's fees. If the consent order does not contain such a provision you are not obligated to pay these. So, I would ask the law firm to explain these additional attorney's fees by asking what specific provision of the consent order allows for the collection of additional such fees. And in addition, I would ask for a detailed accounting of the attorney's fee rate and the time spent on collection.

I wouldn't be able to help you obtain the refinance. But something to keep in mind is that if you think fighting this law firm might take a long time, and you thus are losing money by not refinancing, it may make sense simply to give in to the law firm.

Thomas

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Thomas Swartz
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Twenty one years experience as a lawyer in New York and New Jersey. Former Appellate Law Clerk.