Yes, as mentioned above once the plaintiff is paid he/she must immediately file an Acknowledgment of Satisfaction of Judgment form. You can provide the form and have the credit agencies clear the judgment from your credit. A copy of the form can be found on the California Courts website: http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/sc290.pdf. Your insurance adjuster should help you to discuss the foregoing with the plaintiff and clear the judgment from your record.
This response applies to California Law only and does not create any legal relationship between the attorney and the person who submitted the question.
I would have your insurance company negotiate with the other side to remove it from your credit report. Usually claims are paid before lawsuit, why did your insurance company not settle this pre-trial. Also you could appeal the judgment if you feel the damages are too high in the ruling or that you were not at fault.
A judgment will surely lower your credit worthiness. Not paying the judgment will lower it even further.
The above information does not establish an attorney client relationship nor is it meant to provide legal advice.
Your insurance company should help you file a Satisfaction of Judgment if they are aware of the case and there was coverage. Contact your insurance agent or claims representative about getting a Satisfaction of Judgment signed by the opposing party or opposing party's attorney and then get that files with the court.
As for your credit rating, you should contact an attorney for a consultation on getting that repaired.
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When judgment is paid, you can get a Satisfaction of Judgment.
The answer does not create an attorney/client relationship and is for informational purposes only.
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You should really consider the previous attorneys question of why did your insurance company not settle this matter prior to judgment. In taking a hard line on certain cases they put the interests of their insured secondary. Absent unknown facts, to expose you to a judgment is irresponsible and breaches their duty to you. You may want to consider contacting a bad faith attorney to discuss a claim based on the handling of this matter.
If you informed your insurance company about the claim timely, and if it was not your fault (or even if it was) and you insurance company left you "hanging in the wind" and allowed a judgment against you to be entered, they have an obligation to protect you in every way provided the judgment was within the policy limits of YOUR policy (assuming you were at fault). If the judgment was within policy limits AND it was your fault, the insurance company should have paid it IMMEDIATELY to protect you from even having a judgment entered in the first place. However, since it was small claims court and there could have been an APPEAL, there is the chance that your company defended you at the appeal and the judgment had been entered prior to the appeal.
Regardless, once the matter was final (all appeals over or expired) your insurance company had a duty to immediately pay the judgment, file a satisfaction of judgment and get it off your record. Then, if it appears on your credit, you can dispute any remaining amounts owed. The judgement itself will remain on your credit, however, it should be noted on all reports as SATISFIED and PAID IN FULL. While that will still affect your credit, there is not much more to be done.
Now: If your insurance company did not do their job (accurately defend you AND investigate the claim) AND did not settle the claim prior to going to court and having the judgement entered AND that caused you financial loss, you may very well have a good claim for BAD FAITH against the insurance company. Insurance companies do it ALL THE TIME!
This is NOT legal advice rather, it is opinion only based upon the facts as stated. There is no way to know the outcome of any judicial matter at this stage.
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