What is a certificate of judgement?

Asked about 6 years ago - Columbus, OH

Awhile back, I was sued by a CC company, and I agreed to a consent judgement to make monthly payments or else they try to enforce a judgement. Now, I am being sent a certificate of judgement. What is this document? Is this simply a way for them to collect if I don't pay?

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  1. Paul Walter Leithart II

    Contributor Level 7

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    Answered . Under Ohio law there are a number of mechanisms for a judgment creditor to collect a judgment. Among those are wage garnishments, bank account garnishments, execution against personal property, and in appropriate cases there can be the appointment of a receiver or a creditor's bill. A certificate of judgment is issued by the Clerk of Courts at the request of the judgment creditor. The certificate of judgment is then filed in the Common Pleas Court. The purpose of a certificate of judgment can be for the following reasons - first, once it is filed it creates a judgment lien against any real estate that you own in the county where it was filed. Second, if the judgment was issued in one county but you have assets that the judgment creditor wants to execute upon in another county, the judgment creditor will obtain a certificate of judgment from the county where the judgment was entered and then file it in the other county.

    I cannot answer your question in complete detail without having reviewed the consent judgment entry. If the consent judgment entry does not prohibit the filing of a certificate of judgment then the judgment creditor may have filed it as a back up in case you do not make the monthly payments required by the consent judgment. It is assumed that the consent judgment prohibits the judgment creditor from taking steps such as wage garnishment so long as you make the payments.

    Once a certificate of judgment is filed in Common Pleas Court and becomes a lien against real estate in that county, the judgment creditor has the right to initiate a foreclosure action to enforce the judgment.

    Please be aware that all legal questions can only be properly answered once a qualified attorney has an opportunity to review and analyze the particular facts and law which apply to a case. Thus, this answer provides general guidance only. You should consult with an attorney in order to make sure that your question is answered fully, completely and accurately.

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