Avoiding Judgments Judgment Negotiation & Protection

What is a Judgment?
How can a Creditor Enter a Judgment Against Me?
What can a Judgment Creditor Do To Collect?
How can a Debt Lawyer Help me?

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Learn about your options.

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What is a Judgment?


Educating you helps to minimize or even stops the repercussions of a judgment entered against you.  If you know what the judgment creditor can do to collect on the judgment they have entered against you then you can help prevent it from happening.


If a creditor (or debt purchaser which is a company that may have bought your account from your original creditor) is owed money for long enough and they believe it is you who owes it to them, sooner or later they may file a lawsuit against you to try to collect what they feel is owed.  A judgment is a decision or ruling made by a court of law which states the outcome of a lawsuit. The result can mean many things, but for the services our debt lawyers offer, we’ll strictly be speaking about money judgments entered against you, with or without your knowledge.


If sued, you will be notified in writing by receiving a summons and complaint.


  • The summons being the court notification that you are being sued
  • The complaint being the details concerning why you are being sued


The timeframe to answer the summons and complaint as well as what constitutes proper service varies by state, but you should NEVER LET A SUMMONS AND COMPLAINT GO UNANSWERED.

How can a Creditor Enter a Judgment Against Me?

There are  three ways a creditor or debt purchaser can obtain·a judgment against you:

Default Judgment

If you or your business fail to answer a lawsuit within the proper timeframe after receiving a summons and complaint, then you will forfeit your case!  Failure to respond will mean a judgment being entered against you by default, also known as a default judgment.


The only reason not to answer a lawsuit is never to have been served a summons and complaint to know you were being sued.  If you were served recently and want to avoid a default judgment, we can help.  Alternatively, If you were never served or, if you were served improperly resulting in a default judgment, our debt lawyers may be able to get rid of, or ‘vacate’ the default judgment for you.


Summary Judgment

If you answered a summons and complaint but did not prove or provide legal defenses, a motion for summary judgment can be granted, resulting in a judgment against you.   In other words, the plaintiff’s attorney argues their provided case evidence is so strong that you will have no defense, so rather than debate in court, they should just be awarded the judgment.

Arguing your ‘financial hardship‘ as the reason for non-payment is NOT a legal defense that will successfully prevent a judgment. The court’s job is NOT to decide if you can afford to pay your debts, but if you have a legal obligation to based on your agreement.  Whether or not a summary judgment was entered against you, we couple possibly help, but the sooner you act the better.  Call today!

Judgment by Decision

If the creditor or debt purchaser’s attorney did not receive a default judgment and is not granted summary judgment, the case will typically go on trial.  Once the court renders a decision, they may side with the plaintiff, meaning you lost the lawsuit, and therefore the judgment was awarded against you.

A judgment could be awarded for the full amount noted in the complaint which likely includes interest charges, attorney fees, and court costs, OR,

A judgment could be awarded for a lesser amount than noted in the complaint if you were able to successfully argue as part of your defense that the alleged amount owed was partially inaccurate but were unsuccessful in arguing that the entire debt was invalid.

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What Happens if a Judgment is Awarded Against Me?

Once entered against you, the monetary judgment will accumulate interest based on the rate allowed by your State’s law, and will continue to do so until the judgment is either paid off (also known as ‘satisfied’) or until the judgment goes past the Statute Of Limitations (SOL) for collections.  Judgments last for years which extends the SOL of collections.  Your creditors have to sue you before the SOL expires in their choice of either the state you lived in when you opened the account or your current state, whichever gives them more time.  Either way, the SOL varies by state (we compiled a list of each state’s SOL for accounts in the chart below).  The timeframe of the SOL of collections starts counting from the date of your first missed payment.  Once a judgment is entered, it starts a new timeline for the SOL. A judgment also increases the SOL for credit reporting from 7 years for most accounts without judgments to the SOL for the judgment.

A judgment could last even longer than a state’s given SOL as numerous states allow for the renewal of judgments.  Some states do not permit judgment creditors to renew their judgments while other states do.  In a state that allows for renewal, the judgment creditor can file an affidavit or receive a court order to renew the judgment and extend the SOL for another term.  Each state that allows for renewal of judgments has different laws as to the number of times a judgment can be renewed ranging from one time to an unlimited amount of times – which could mean a permanent judgment against you!

What usually happens is the creditor or debt collector will try whatever possible to collect before the SOL for the state the account was opened in runs out.  If unsuccessful in getting paid by the time your account approaches the SOL, they will then file a lawsuit to try to collect instead.  This is done to maximize the amount of time they will have to collect from you.  For example, if your state’s SOL is 6 years, if they haven’t already sued, they will sue before the end of the 6th year.  This way, if they obtain a judgment against you that’s good for 20 years, then your creditors will have had a total of 26 years to try to collect from you!

Click to expand and see each state's SOL (accurate through 7.9.2018)

Click to expand and then download a list of each state's SOL (accurate through 7.9.2018)

What can a Judgment Creditor Do To Collect?

If one or more money judgments have been entered against you as a result of either an unpaid debt, forgotten debts, or even issues relating to identity theft, then your assets may be at risk.  A judgment gives the creditor or collector the ability to collect in ways not available to a creditor without a judgment by granting the judgment creditor the ability to put a levy on your bank account, a lien on your home, or even to garnish your wages.  You can find out more about each of those remedies available to your collectors by clicking on the one you’d like to know more about.

Bank Levy

If a there is a judgment against you, your bank accounts can be frozen without being given any further notice.  You will not be able to pay your bills or access your money if it gets to this point.  Don’t let this happen to you.  The sooner you get help, the better you’ll be able to avoid a bank levy.

Read more

Property Lien

If a there is a judgment against you, liens can be placed against your property without any further notice being given.  You will not be able to sell your property or refinance to obtain a better rate without first resolving the lien.  Don’t let this it get to that point.  The sooner you get help, the better you’ll be able to avoid a property lien.

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Wage Garnishment

If a there is a judgment against you, your employment wages can be garnished.  You will receive a notice of voluntary garnishment and if you do nothing, your paycheck will be reduced by the amount of the garnishment.  Don’t let this happen to you.  The sooner you get help, the better you’ll be able to avoid a wage garnishment.

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Instead of letting your creditor seize funds from your account or home or garnish your pay and merely apply the amount towards the balance owed on a dollar for dollar basis, we can negotiate a settlement with the creditor or collector for less than the judgment amount owed and have the amount paid considered full payment thereby unfreezing your assets, ending wage garnishments and saving you thousands in the process.


The longer you wait, the more likely the creditor will be to go from FREEZE to SEIZE!  Don’t delay call for a FREE CONSULTATION today!

Your Debt Problems Do Not Go Away if Ignored…They Get Worse

DO NOT LET A JUDGMENT CREDITOR TAKE YOUR MONEY WITHOUT PUTTING UP A FIGHT. If you have been sued do not ignore it or avoid the issue thinking it will go away.  You need to deal with the lawsuit as soon as possible.  You will not be able to defend yourself properly without the knowledge of the court process and lawsuits and trying to do so would be a great injustice to yourself.  A debt lawyer will be able to assist you and bring a great deal of experience and knowledge to the table.  If your business was sued, many courts do not allow for you to defend yourself Pro Se, and you may be forced to hire an attorney to help – so stop wasting time.  Call Now to find out more about our Debt Collection Lawsuit Defense services.

At Dramer Law, our debt lawyers can help orchestrate the removal of judgments against you by either by attempting to vacate your default judgments, or by either negotiating for affordable payment arrangements, or by settling for less than the amount that is owed, potentially saving you thousands!  If there is no room in your current or monthly budget for payments or settling, then another service we can help with if you qualify, is to remove the lien by filing for bankruptcy.  One way or another we will be able to help!

View Real Results from Our Various Services


All settlements are represented as a percentage of the debt paid back. 

For example, a 20% settlement means that 20% of the debt is paid back and 80% is forgiven.




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At The Law Offices of Kenneth H Dramer PC, before we make any recommendations, our debt lawyers, certified debt relief specialists, and paralegals are trained to ask the right questions to find out about your specific situation. Based on your current income and your financial hardship, we will determine which course of action will work best for you. We do not only offer one path, as no one process can solve everyone’s needs. We will take our time with you and help evaluate what your best course of action should be. CALL NOW FOR A FREE CONSULTATION and one of our advisors will be there to get you started on your path to financial freedom. There is no obligation to enroll, so don’t delay.

One way or another, we can help!

Why Choose Dramer Law for Your Debt Relief Needs?

Debt is Our Specialty

Other companies and law firms offer debt relief – we specialize in it!  We do not offer any services that aren’t strictly related with clients that are struggling financially so our clients have unique needs, compared to those of other law firms, that we can cater to.  We offer all debt relief options and we service our clients like family.  You should never settle for less when trying to settle for less!

Lower Fees

Since our clients don’t have tons of money to spare like attorneys that practice in other areas of law, we charge low fees making our services affordable for anyone that needs help.  Unless your case involves one of our attorneys having to go to court, our negotiation service fees are flat fee based not charged hourly.

One on One Client Service

All of our client relationships are One on One.  You’ll have one individual client service representative that will be your point of contact and you’ll build a relationship with them so they’ll know exactly what you are going through.  Aside from treating you with the upmost care possible, this means you won’t have to deal with multiple people and re-explain your situation to a different person each time you call.  This saves time for you and eliminates any extra stress for you as time is money and being stress free is just as important as being debt free!

Client Service Response Time

All of our attorneys, paralegals, and negotiators are dedicated to providing the best possible experience, while achieving results.  We are available long hours but should we happen to be unavailable for any reason we pride ourselves on returning calls and emails right away, not several days later like most attorneys.

Our Reputation

Many companies do nothing for the high fees they charge.  We have heard many horror stories.  These companies aren’t proactive, they put no effort into negotiations, they don’t even return your calls let alone calls from collectors!  These actions cause collectors to seek other measures to collect, often meaning lawsuits.   We typically work repeatedly with the same companies and are known for resolving accounts so therefore have a great reputation with industry lenders and collectors.  This benefits you when we contact these companies on your behalf, they know the accounts will get resolved and therefore we are usually able to avoid legal action!

Other Services

Many times, when we successfully get our clients out of debt, they still need assistance with other areas of their financial life.  We offer many different services for those struggling with debts including Business Debt Relief, Mortgage Relief, Tax Relief, & Student Loan Relief.  When Debt is the Problem – We Have the Answers!

Client Testimonials

The court proceedings were annulled, and agreeable working terms were consolidated with my creditors

“Having to deal with a debt collection and settlement situation is a scenario that can certainly occur to anyone, irrespective of their station in life or how judicious they might have been in managing their finances. I was very ill-prepared to deal with this situation when it confronted me. By shear chance, pretty much stressed out on my options, I stumbled on www.Dramerlaw.com on my very first internet search. This was indeed my first port of call; I talked to Michael and I had the gut feeling I could work with them. I have not only been happily surprised, but very satisfied with my collaboration with Dramer.  Michael, my principal liaison from day one has been very professional, available, applied, assiduous, and reassuring throughout this relationship; it is hard not to state it in such glowing terms, when it is what it is. From communications via phone calls, faxed messages, and e-mails I was able to receive and transmit all the paperwork relevant to my case. The court proceedings were annulled, and agreeable working terms were consolidated with my creditors. Equally appreciative is the post-resolution services and relationship that Dramer offers. Please give Dramer a try and I’d bet you will express your satisfaction in even more glossy terms.”  N.T. Oneaonta, NY.  12-22-2017

I wouldn’t go anywhere else.

“The Law Offices of Kenneth H. Dramer are extremely knowledgeable and dedicated. They completely turned around a very trying situation for me. I had a million questions and was pretty lost about what steps I should take next and Mr. Sininsky, quite patiently explained everything to me. I wasnt even their client at this point and they were already going above and beyond. I didn’t feel rushed or like I was being blown off. It was that unfront honesty and eagerness that sealed the deal for me. Once hired the process was thoroughly explained to me and it was about as effortless (at least on my end) as humanly possible. Mr. Sininsky was personable, honest, deligent, and stayed in communication with me every single step of the way. I never felt at anytime like I was getting less than 110% from them. If I have any other legal issues that fall within the area in which their office practices, its literally a no brainer for me, I wouldn’t go anywhere else.”  Teresa J.,  Bronx NY.  12-14-17

Very sharp and on point. Their price is very reasonable.

“Like most people bankruptcy never crossed our mind. My husband and I owed  a lot  of debt due to closing of our business, but we still tried to payoff debtors little by little. Until we got hit with a summons from the court ( for over 100K lawsuit). We research all over the internet and called many law firms and layers. Many of them ask what we want to do?.. We wouldn’t of call if we know what to do. And some offered hardship /debt relief or settle your debt for less.. no matter what you call it at the end you still have to pay  the creditors, the debts collectors and the lawyer. In our case there is no way we can payoff everything. Many random phones calls later, we were fortunate to come acrossed Mike, he has explained  to us bankruptcy doesn’t  mean we will lose our house or car.  As couple we are able keep certain amount of assets. We were also worried about our credit score, the bankruptcy record will stay in your record for 7 years ( our score were poor anyway).  There aren’t that many reviews on the internet about them and like most people we’re not sure if we can trust them.  Give Mike a call and a chance, his very sharp and on the  point. Their price is very reasonable.  Bankruptcy was the best choice we made and the cheapest way out. Now half year later we are debt free, no need to worry from phone calls from debts collectors.  Get to keep our house and car, even our credit score went up.  Don’t understand why we didn’t  do it  sooner I guess we were like a lot others  going day by day try to be nice by paying off little by little.  Thanks!”  JC,  Queens, NY.  7-7-2017

They were extremely professional and made the process easy