Legal Question in Credit and Debt Law in Pennsylvania

I discovered a judgement was filed against me in 2003 for a credit card. I checked my credit report and found nothing. A collection agency sent me a letter on this old judgement. Can it still be enforced.

Asked on 1/11/13, 10:13 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Michael Duffy Duffy Law, LLC

It would likely remain enforceable to collect against your property. Judgments are enforceable to collect against property for a period of up to twenty years in Pennsylvania. There are also fewer defenses available after a judgment has been entered for so long. Satisfying the debt or filing for bankruptcy are two of the most certain options for addressing the judgment.

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Answered on 1/11/13, 10:40 am

Judgments never go away. They last forever. And your credit report is not the place to look - the county courthouse is. Judgments will fall off your credit report 7 years after the date of entry. So if the judgment was entered in 2003, it is no longer reported and that is why nothing appears. It does not mean that the judgment is no longer valid or enforceable.

Judgments can be enforced against real property for 5 years, but can be revived for additional 5 year periods. Judgments can be enforced against personal property (bank accounts, cars, etc.) for 20 years.

So yes, it can still be enforced. What I suggest you do is pay a visit to the court of common pleas in the county where the judgment was entered and make a copy of the summons & complaint, including the return of service, any motion for default/summary judgment and entry of the judgment.

I would have this reviewed by a lawyer. However, if you are confident that this is your debt, then you need to think about how you wish to resolve it. After this much time, Discover (if they still own the debt) may be willing to accept 30% of whatever the balance has grown to (judgments earn interest at a rate of 6% per year; it accrues on a daily basis so the judgment has definitely gotten bigger since it was entered in 2003).

If you want to resolve the judgment and have the funds, I can help for a reasonable fee. Please contact me at [email protected] if interested.

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Answered on 1/11/13, 12:21 pm

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