What is a consent judgment, and why is it bad to agree to it in my debt collection lawsuit?
“What is a consent judgment, and why is it bad to agree to it in my debt collection lawsuit?”
So you’re dealing with a debt collection lawsuit and you’re talking to the collection lawyer about potentially settling your case, which is definitely one of your 5 options.
The collection attorney says, “Great, I need you to sign this consent judgment and we can settle this case. Then you can either make your payments or do a lump sum, and we won’t have to go to court.”
You may be thinking about how great that sounds to be able to take care of this lawsuit without having to go to court at all and how great it is that you can put this behind you.
Let’s take a step back for a minute and think about this.
They’re asking you to agree to a consent judgment.
Why would there be a judgment if we’re settling the case?
If you ask the collection lawyer this, they’ll say that it’s no big deal. Just sign the document and they’ll take care of it.
A consent judgment is a big deal, actually.
What triggered a warning in your mind is the word “judgment.”
That’s smart of you because a judgment should get your attention.
A consent judgment is exactly what it sounds like. You agree to a judgment.
It’s still a judgment.
A real judgment.
There are several different kinds of judgments that can be held against us.
If a consent judgment happens, you’re basically saying to the judge, “I want you to enter a judgment against me.”
This is a bad idea in my opinion.
Ultimately it’s your choice whether or not you agree to the consent judgment if you’re representing yourself.
If we represent you, however, we will not agree to a consent judgment.
If you’re representing yourself, you have to decide whether or not you want to agree to the consent judgment.
The collection lawyers will say that they won’t report it or tell the credit bureaus about it.
Which is true, but it’s also meaningless.
The credit bureaus don’t get that information from the collection lawyers or the debt collectors.
They get that information straight from the court. They’ll look and see that there’s a judgment against you, and put it on your credit report.
Understand what you’re agreeing to before you sign a consent judgment.
If signing a consent judgment seems to be in your best interest, then, by all means, you can agree to it if you’re representing yourself.
However, if it wouldn’t be in your best interest, don’t agree to it.
If you live in Alabama and you’re facing a debt collection lawsuit, give us a ring at 205-879-2447.
Especially if you have any questions about your 5 options, or you’re not sure what the best course of action is for your unique situation.
We’d be glad to walk you through those options, and help you decide what would be best for you.
You can reach us by phone at 1-205-879-2447, or you can fill out a contact form and we will get in touch with you quickly.
We look forward to chatting with you!
Thanks for reading, and hope this was helpful to you.
Have a great day!
PS — You may want to read our multi part series where we answer over 150 questions about Alabama debt collection lawsuits.