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Is a stipulation of entry of judgment filed in court an actual judgment? Does it affect my credit report?

San Francisco, CA |
Filed under: Bankruptcy

I settled with a credit card law firm and they are going to enter into a stipulation for entry of judgment. I received it and the first paragraph says that it is stipulated that they will get judgment against me for $X.XX. Then the next paragraph says, it is "stayed" provided I pay what I owe.

So, I guess my question is, does the 2nd paragraph (stay provided I pay) prevent the 1st paragraph (judgment) from going into effect if I make the payments?

Also, does it go on my credit report?

Thanks.

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

Yes and yes.

This is odten difficult to answer without having seen the actual stipulation that you signed. In Calfornia, there is often confusion between a stipulation for entry of judgment and a stipulated judgment. A stipulated judgment, for sure, is a judgment and gets filed with the court. It has the same force and effect as if you lost at trial or lost on a summany judgment motion, so the likelihood of it appearing on your credit report is very high.

On the other hand, a stipulation for entry of judgment can be used in a variety of ways. In some instances, the plaintiff agrees not to file the document at all with the court unless there is a default in the installment payments. In other instances, the stipulation for entry of judgment is filed with the court, but a judgment is not entered right away unless there is a default. In yet other instances, a stipulation for entry of judgment automatically results in entry of a judgment.

Since you mention a "stay" in the second paragraph, I suspect your situation is that a judgment has in fact been entered against you pursuant to the stipulation. That means YES it will likely appear on your credit report. However, the judgment creditor is just agreeing not to enforce the judgment by garnishing wages, levying on bank accounts, liening your real and property property, taking your judgment debtor exam, etc. if you make the installment payments.

The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author (who is only admitted to practice law in the State of California). For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.

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Posted

Nope - a stipulated judgment is just like any other judgment, except that any chance to reverse the judgment is even more limited. The judgment will be entered by the judge & the enforcement of the judgment (by wage garnishment, attachment of bank accounts, etc) will be delayed as long as you make the agreed payments.

Hope this perspective helps!

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Posted

You have agreed to have a judgment entered against you. The creditor will stay enforcement of the judgment against you through the court system if you maintain your payment plan with them.

A judgment will appear on your credit report.

BW

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Posted

you need to be careful. A stipulation for entry of judgment calls for entry of judgment immediately typically with a right sometimes to have it set aside upon making all the payments.

A stipulation for entry of judgment upon default in payments only occurs when a default occurs from a missed payment. Your agreement sounds like it is actually a stip for entry of judgment upon default from a missed payment.

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