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Naturalization Application with Civil Judgment in 2007 related to job lost, car repossessed by the bank, wage garnished.

Chicago, IL |

Balance paid off and loan satisfied. Ultimately released by the bank with satisfactory letter. How do I answer questions on N-400 about court citations, shall I answer yes or no? Also, do I have to mention to the immigration officer at time of interview that I had a civil judgment? It is a public record, I am sure they would have that information through background check. Please advise. Thank you.

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Attorney answers 4

Best Answer

Civil judgments need not be revealed on form N-400.

Please click the link at the very bottom for additional information.

Carl Shusterman, Esq.
Former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82)
Board Certified Immigration Attorney (1986 - Present)
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600 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1550
Los Angeles, CA 90017
(213) 394-4554 x0
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(213) 394-4554 x0 Mr. Shusterman is a former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) with over 35 years of immigration experience. His response to your question is general in nature, as not all the facts are known to him. You should retain an attorney experienced in immigration law to review all the facts in your case in order to receive advice specific to your case. Mr. Shusterman's statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.


I have changed the practice area to immigration. You should do a true consult with an immigration attorney as soon as is possible.

If you found this Answer to be helpful, please mark it as such. Remember, however, free advice is worth every penny you paid for it. This is only generalized commentary on your question. It is not to be taken as legal advice. I am a lawyer – but not your lawyer! Even "in person" interviews leave attorneys with plenty of questions – the Internet makes it crazy! Thank you Chuck Watson 217.544.6165


You are correct that they would be able to obtain this information through a background check, so your best bet as always is to disclose your background truthfully. Answer yes and explain in detail what happened. Then, provide evidence that this issue has been resolved (i.e. copies of pay-off, letter that everything has been paid off, etc.). I doubt it should give you any problems if you can show that since 2007, you have had no problems and that you have taken care of all payments.

This advice does not form an attorney-client relationship and is merely informative. It should not by itself be relied upon to address a legal concern.


I agree with Counsel Shusterman that civil judgments are not required for disclosure as a part of the criminal background eligibility for N400 purposes. You may explain if asked about any civil cases and provide a proof of the satisfied judgment, however, from the stand point of any criminal citations as narrated you have nothing to reveal.

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