Who is your judgment against? 2nd article

This is a follow up to a previous blog post on this subject: Who is your judgment against. We talked in the earlier post about the absolute necessity of having your judgment debtor listed properly. It can save a lot of headaches down the road if you get this right to begin with. Whenever a judgment debtor has been misnamed, it opens up a defense for the debtor to use in avoiding paying the money that is due for the judgment.

You want to collect your judgment. You want to get paid what you are due. You surely don’t need any unnecessary problems to make it any harder to enforce your judgment. This post will help you be aware of a potential problem so that you can confirm early-on whether a styling or naming problem even exists with your judgment.

If the debtor is a corporate entity, it is just as critical to make sure that the judgment debtor is named very precisely. The best thing I can suggest is to go to the corporate records on-line at the Secretary of State’s website. Look there to confirm precisely how the corporate entity is spelled. Also, look to see if there are any commas in the name. Hopefully you will find everything to be listed as it should, but there are many judgments that are unenforceable because of a tiny error in the naming of the party. Compare these examples of differences you might look for:

ABC Corporation

ABC Company Inc.

ABC Company, Inc.

ABC Company

ABC Corp.

This just shows you that there many similar ways to misname a party and if you don’t pay attention, you can be left with a judgment that is difficult or impossible to collect.

If you do have a judgment with a styling, or naming problem, you might try filing a “Motion to Amend Judgment.” You will want to do a little research before filing a motion of this type. Some jurisdictions place a time limit on making any kind of amendment or correction to a judgment. Some jurisdictions also have certain specific reasons for an amendment being accepted. I recommend you look into the Rules of Procedure for the court in question and you will find what methods to use in order to correct the naming problem. You can also check in your local law library to find resources on this subject which can help you. In any case, you will need to be aware of what methods are allowed in your state and your particular court for getting a name changed and corrected.

If worse comes to worse, and your situation won’t allow an amendment, then you might consider refiling a new lawsuit against your adversary, and being extra careful to name the parties accurately.


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