If a debtor has a default judgment against them, it may affect the bankruptcy process

Default judgments typically mean a debtor is quite advanced in the collections process. Creditors do not like placing a default judgement, but they will if a debtor demonstrates they are unwilling or unable to pay.

One of the ways to stop a default judgment is to file bankruptcy. The judgment is a court order demanding the debtor surrender money or property to the creditor; if you have such a judgment against you, it means you failed to pay off a type of loan or a credit card. When the creditor goes to court to get a default judgment, it means the court has ruled against the debtor for not appearing in court.

If you want to put a halt to a default judgment, temporarily, you can file bankruptcy. This stops any and almost all legal action, thanks to the automatic stay. Even if a creditor has started to enforce their judgment against you, they must, by law, cease and desist until your bankruptcy is handled. This automatic stay also means they are not allowed to call you about the outstanding debt and/or judgment.

It is important to note that a formal discharge of your bankruptcy acts to formalize the reprieve the automatic stay granted. Even though the discharge and a default judgment are court orders, the bankruptcy supersedes a default judgment, putting a halt to all forms of collections, including wage garnishment. Typically, in most jurisdictions, the debtor needs to file paperwork to vacate the default judgment, even if the bankruptcy discharge acts as protection from its enforcement.

Another thing you should understand is that the protection you receive from the automatic stay against a default judgment only remains in place as long as your bankruptcy case. If your case ends up being dismissed, you lose any protection you had, and thus, the creditors will start the collections process once again. This is something that you need to discuss with a skilled an Iowa bankruptcy lawyer, as it is far too complex a process to attempt on your own.

If you are declaring bankruptcy, it only makes sense to do it according to all the rules and regulations. Failing to do so could leave you back at square one, struggling to get out from under your bills and various judgments. Bankruptcy is not an easy process, but if it is done in conjunction with an experienced Iowa bankruptcy lawyer, the process can go relatively smoothly.

Kevin Ahrenholz is an Iowa bankruptcy lawyer and Iowa bankruptcy attorney. To contact him, visit http://www.iowachapter7.com or call 1.877.888.1766.

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