How to Prevent Future Judgment Liens

House with MoneyLetting a creditor get a judgment against you is dangerous, for a lot of reasons. One of the biggest dangers is a judgment lien on your home. You can often prevent them from hitting the title to your home, and can really help yourself if you do.

Creditor Judgments Happen All Too Easily

It’s very easy to get a judgment against you.

If you get behind on payments to a creditor, that creditor usually has a right to sue you pretty much right away. Some creditors do, but often they don’t, instead sending your account to a collection agency. Then at some point—sometimes even years later—you get lawsuit papers served on you or possibly even sent to you in the mail.

Then you have only several days or at most a few weeks to act. The papers you get say you are being sued and that you need to pay the entire balance. You likely don’t have the money being demanded, or any way to get that money. You probably believe that you owe the money anyway so it seems pointless to dispute the lawsuit.

So when you don’t do anything by the stated deadline, a “default judgment” is entered against you. That means that essentially the creditor gets what it asked for—for the court to formally confirm that you owe the debt, along with whatever extra charges are requested by the creditor. It’s possible that you don’t know that a judgment has been entered against you because often you’re not informed of it.

Collection of the Judgment Debt

A judgment empowers the creditor to use any of a list of tools to force you to pay the debt, which is often much, much bigger than you thought because of all the additional charges and fees.

Those creditor tools include actions against you, your income, and your assets. Examples are garnishment of your wages and bank accounts, possible levies on other personal property such as your vehicle, and being ordered to personally go to court to answer questions about your income and assets.

The Judgment Lien on Your Home

A less well known but sometimes even more dangerous creditor tool is the judgment lien. A judgment lien in effect involuntarily turns what you own into collateral securing the judgment amount.

Prevent a Judgment Lien

If you are sued by a creditor, file a bankruptcy case before your deadline to respond to stop a judgment from being entered. Then the creditor won’t get a judgment lien on your home and other possessions.

Or at least no judgment can be entered without the bankruptcy court’s subsequent permission. Usually the court won’t give permission. That’s especially so if the underlying debt is one that will be discharged—legally written off—in the bankruptcy case.

After that the debt is discharged the creditor can take no further action against you or your home.


By filing bankruptcy you usually avoid having to pay any or at least most of the judgment debt. You avoid having a judgment lien imposed on your property. You avoid having to deal with a judgment lien as you try to sell or refinance the home. And you avoid the risk of losing your home to foreclosure of the judgment lien.

So, don’t let a creditor get a judgment against you. If you live in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and are behind on your debts, please get in touch with me. I’m Carrie Weir, an experienced a Texas bankruptcy lawyer. My clients come mostly from in and around Rockwall, Heath, Greenville, Lavon, Wylie, Mesquite, Royse City, Sachse, and Rowlett. Please contact me for a free and confidential consultation. Please either just call me at 972-772-3083 or use the contact form here.

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