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What does it mean if a default judgement is taken against me?

Houston, TX |

I'm being sued for the remaining balance of a car that was repossessed. If i don't answer the citation a default judgement will be taken against me. What does it mean if a default judgement is taken against me?

Attorney Answers 3

  1. These comments are made for educational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client relationship exists between us.

    Default judgment means you chose not to answer even though you had notice of the suit. If you do not answer, the creditor will ask the court to award a judgment for the full amount with interest plus attorney fees and costs. Then the creditor will try to collect.

    Keep in mind that Texas is an extremely debtor friendly state. Nobody gets your house except the bank and the IRS. Nobody gets your car except the lender and the IRS. Nobody gets your wages except the IRS and child support. Nobody gets your pension/retirement except the IRS. Most people don't have any thing more than that, so there is nothing to get to satisfy a judgment. HOWEVER, a judgment is good for 10 years and can be renewed. Also, the judgment is accruing interest and is being reported to the credit bureaus. The creditor is hoping that one day you will have some money saved for a large credit-based purchase (car or house). When you apply for that loan, the judgment creditor will learn you have cash and will then try again to get you to pay.

    You may have strong procedural defenses to this claim allowing you to avoid liability for the debt entirely. Please call me for a free consultation.

  2. If you do not answer the citation, you are at risk of getting a judgment against you, albeit by default, which is just as if you had lost a case in court. You may have some affirmative defenses to protect you.

  3. It means that someone sued you and allegedly gave you notice in some form or fashion and you did not respond, so they won the lawsuit. You need an attorney immediately.

    My standard disclaimer: I am not offering legal advice, assume I do not know the law in your state and that I am just making suggestions. Do NOT rely on anything I write and contact a lawyer in your area immediately for real legal advice.