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?”

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.

There are default judgments, summary judgments, judgments at the end of a trial, etc.

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!

-John G. Watts

PS — You may want to read our multi part series where we answer over 150 questions about Alabama debt collection lawsuits.


  1. Morning.
    I watched a video and now I searching for the letter to send to creditor to dispute the information. Please send me a copy of the letter.

    • John Watts says:


      Are you wanting to send a dispute letter directly to a debt collector or are you talking about a dispute letter going to the credit reporting agencies? Different types of letters.

      Here is an article that has a sample dispute letter directly to a debt collector. We use this when we first hear from a collector and we want more information from them, and we want to let them know the debt is disputed and to not call our cell phone.

      Now if we are sending a letter to a credit reporting agency, here is an article that talks about how to do this.

      Let me know if you were looking for something else. If you live in Alabama, feel free to call us at 205-879-2447 and we can give you advice on what letter to send, how to send it, etc.


      John Watts

  2. Donald G Clarke says:

    In 2015, I was helping my daughter with a paternal matter. We spoke to an attorney who didnt do anything. Cost of speaking with him was negligible. I naver paid him. Interest accrued at a dizzying amount. Presently “owe” over $ 8000. On social security. Cannot pay. He stated he was getting a consent judgement. What should I do? Georgia Statutes.

    • John Watts says:

      Donald I’m sorry you are dealing with this. I would get with a GA lawyer as there maybe unique rules there — https://www.consumeradvocates.org/find-an-attorney.

      Normally a consent judgment is when you agree to it — and frankly I see little reason to do that in most cases.

      But get with a GA lawyer to help you — best wishes!

      John Watts

    • Robert Woods says:

      First off I’m not a lawyer!! I am going thru a similar situation and I too receive Social Security. From what I read they cant touch your money its federally protected! As long as its direct deposited and your sole income! And you can have up to double the amount of your monthly benefit in your account. Check Georgia Law but most states recognize this law! I just had a hearing over video chat! I don’t like it because these attorneys don’t even have to leave their offices to sue you! It was like a cattle call of defaults on people who didn’t show for the hearing! I thing this opens a dangerous precedent! Lawsuits should be on hold until normal court can resume I recommend that you don’t do that! I was really surprised how much the judge was pushing the Consent Judgement! I may agree to it if i can write the rules and have it on record!

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