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On average, how long does it take for a default judgment from the day you are served if you don't answer? (I am in Fullerton,CA)

Fullerton, CA |

Complaint was filed in the North Justice Center (Superior Court of CA, County of Orange).

How long would it take for a default judgment? 30-60 days?
How long would it take for the creditors to official begin levying my bank accounts and put liens on my assets? 60-90 days? Longer?

Can I research this information myself?

Thank you in advance.

Attorney Answers 3


Generally, if a defendant fails to respond to a complaint you can get a default judgment after 45 days. However, the court system is very slow these days and it can take several months to get the court to issue the default judgment.

I would estimate that it would take a minimum of 90 days for a party to get a default judgment and then levy on bank accounts or put a lien on real estate, probably longer.

Of course you can research it yourself. Just run a web search under default judgment.

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It depends on the plaintiff's debt collection law firm and the clerk's backlog of entering defaults. In Orange County, they have instituted electronic filing of papers for a reasonably small fee. If the debt collection attorney for the Plaintiff is set up for this method, the default judgment may be entered within a few days after your response becomes overdue, if the law firm efiles it. They can then ask for a levy and have the sheriff serve your bank within days of the default judgment.

I am not aware of any database that tracks how long each particular debt collection law firm takes to file for a default judgment after the deadline to respond in court has passed. However, if you visit my Avvo legal guide on free court information online, you can track your individual case every day for FREE to see what progress is being made each day.

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Entry of default -- which prevents you from filing an answer to the complaint -- is different from entry of default judgment. The plaintiff can file a request for clerk's entry of DEFAULT as soon as 30 days after you were personally served with the summons and complaint (or 40 days after the process server mailed the summons and complaint to you, if he physically handed the s&c to someone else). He can file the request for entry of default JUDGMENT concurrently with the request for entry of default, or within a limited time thereafter. (When the plaintiff filed his complaint, the court probably set a hearing for order to show cause re entry of default judgment; that's the deadline.) Even though the court may take several days/weeks to enter the judgment, the judgment will be backdated to the date it was received by the court. Plaintiff (now judgment creditor) can begin the enforcement/collection process as soon as the judgment has been entered.

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