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Bankruptcy Default Judgment

What is a default judgment?

When a person files a case against another, and one or both people do not respond, the court may give a default judgment to either party. In many cases the court makes a default judgment in favor of the plaintiff when the defendant does not answer the summons or does not comply with a court request or the person does not appear before the court of law. Below are the most commonly asked questions about bankruptcy default judgments.

If a person receives a default judgment against them, how long would they have to wait to file bankruptcy to stop the judgment?

If the person gets a default judgment against them, then there is not time period that they have to wait to file bankruptcy, as the judgment would then be discharged. In most cases the person may need to file the bankruptcy as soon as possible to avoid the creditor from placing a garnishment on his/her wages or a lien on his/her bank accounts and assets.

If a hearing is set for a default judgment and the person wants to explain why he/she didn’t respond to notices, what would he/she have to do for this?

The only thing that the person can do is show up to the hearing and try to explain to the judge that he/she did not respond to the notices because he/she did not know how to respond to them (if that is the case) or the reason why the person did not respond. If the judge chooses to be understanding to the person’s issues, then he/she may tell the person what they need to do to avoid a default judgment against them. This decision can be at the judge’s discretion and your individual case details may have a bearing on the judge’s ruling. When you are not sure, it is always best to ask an Expert to evaluate the details of your case and provide legal insights that would help you take informed decisions.

If a person files for an entry of default and receives the entry of default is there anything else the person needs to do?

The next step the person would need to do is get the actual default judgment against the other person. You need to find out if there is any type of information that has come up that would affect the default judgment, such as the other person filing for bankruptcy.

If a person who lives in Massachusetts has a 4 year old default judgment against them, can a new collector come after them for the default judgment and does an alias execution apply?

In the state of Massachusetts, the creditor can still come after the person to gain the default judgment. The person should have filed for Motion to Vacate the Default Judgment back when the creditor was not pursuing the debt or default judgment. The company can file for an alias execution within 5 years of the original judgment. Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 235 Sections 17 and 19 refer to the default judgment laws and can be found at the following links:

http://www.malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartIII/TitleII/Chapter235/Section17
http://www.malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartIII/TitleII/Chapter235/Section19

Default judgments are awarded when a party in a suit does not show up or comply with a part of the court proceedings. If a person has a default judgment against them, they may have questions regarding what their rights are or what they need to do to take care of the default judgment. Asking an Expert to evaluate the particulars of the case and provide legal insights can help the person gain the answers to any legal questions that they may have.
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