I have $175,000 in home equity. My credit score is low. I just finished paying off all credit card settlements recently, that was my only negative debt. Last week I found out I have a judgment against the house from a civil lawsuit for $39,000. I owe $14,000 on my house. How can I go about getting a loan to pay off the judgment and my house? I have a steady income and worked the same job for 13 years.
I can't offer you advice about how to get a loan other than to look to family and friends, but often old judgment liens can be settled for "pennies on the dollar" when the creditor gets tired of waiting to get paid. Under these circumstances, you might want to see if you can raise $8,000 & begin your offer at $4,000. Hope this perspective helps!
Rather than borrowing more money, I suggest that you first contact a Pennsylvania attorney who handles debt negotiation. You may be able to settle this debt for much less than the judgment amount.
Note also that in some cases it is possible to reopen the judgment, if there were errors in service or other issues with the original lawsuit, which may give you some leverage in negotiations.
To reach me call 215-248-0989. Harborstone Law Group serves Philadelphia, Montgomery, Delaware, and Bucks Counties in Pennsylvania. Answers to any question on this forum are for general information purposes only and do not constitute legal advice or establish an attorney-client relationship between Harborstone Law Group or its attorneys and you. This type of forum cannot substitute for a consultation with an attorney.
The obvious first choice is to check the court records where the suit was filed to determine if you were properly served. If you were not properly served, you may be able to get the judgment vacated and put up a defense to the suit. If you were properly served and failed to answer they probably obtained a default judgment. If the judgment lien against your property is proper, you may want to try to settle with the creditor for a lesser amount. As for trying to get a loan, it appears you have enough equity to get a loan but your credit score is low. If a lender turns you down for a loan because of your credit report, they are supposed to give you a copy. You can also get one free annual credit report from www.annualcreditreport.com. Once you identify the bad credit entries you can dispute them in an attempt to raise your credit score. Keep in mind that every time you apply for a loan, it will drag your score down, so you may want to speak off the record with lenders to determine if you have a chance or not before giving them permission to pull your credit report.
This answer expresses only general statements about bankruptcy and/or debt defense and does not constitute advice to you in any form and does not create an attorney client relationship between the party asking the question and the party providing the answer. Furthermore, all cases are fact specific and it is not possible to give you legal advice without a complete evaluation of your case or if you are already represented by an attorney. Therefore, this answer does not constitute legal advice of what you should do specifically in your case. You should seek local counsel to help you with your specific issues.