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Madison Clark

This article discusses “What is Default Judgement in Wisconsin Civil Cases?” We cover steps you need to take to respond to a default judgement. These steps include:

  1. Compile details
  1. Seek legal advice
  1. Make a decision on what you're going to do

When you don't respond to a lawsuit — usually from a debt collector — a judge settles the case without hearing your side of the story. You were found guilty as a result of your failure to present a defense.  

Because of how quickly default judgments can occur, they are often referred to as automatic judgments. Wage garnishment or a bank account fee, which enables a creditor to take money from the bank accounts to pay off the debt, may be next.  

Here's what you can do if you receive notice of a default judgment or garnishment.  

Keep an eye on your debts to see if they're getting any smaller.  

Create an account to connect your credit cards, loans, and accounts so you can manage them all in one location.  

Compile details  

Before a case is filed, the debt collection process can take many years. Errors may occur when the debt is sold and resold from collector to collector. You'll want to double-check that the judgment order is for a debt you currently owe and that the sum is right.  

Gather all of the details you can, including:  

The debt collector could have breached your consumer rights if you never got collections notices or were never given a court notice before the case. You would be able to appeal the decision. Continue reading to learn how to do so.  

Seek legal advice  

After that, look for legal assistance in your area. Many organizations provide programs for free or at a reduced cost.  

A lawyer will assist you in determining if the decision is right and, if so, discussing your options. If you believe the decision is wrong, your counsel may assist you in determining how to appeal it.  

Make a decision on what you're going to do

When faced with a default decision, you have four key options:  

Accept the verdict

Accepting the decision if you owe the money is definitely your best choice. If you can come up with enough money, you can pay the creditor in full with a lump sum payment.  

If you can't, you'll either have your wages garnished or your bank account seized. A nonprofit credit counselor will assist you in examining your budget to determine how much you can handle.  

In the garnishment method, you do have privileges. You must be legally informed of the garnishment, and you have the right to contest it if the notice contains incorrect information. Other types of income are excluded, such as Social Security. If your rights have been abused or if the garnishment will prohibit you from affording basic necessities, you can appeal the order.  

Set the record straight

A creditor may agree to settle your debt for a lower amount than you owe. This usually occurs when a creditor suspects you of filing for bankruptcy and thereby wiping out your debt.  

Settling is a win-win situation. The borrower receives at least a portion of the interest settlement, though it is normally in the form of a lump sum. You pay less to stop having your wages garnished for an extended period of time. A “satisfaction of judgment” will be filed with the court by the creditor.  

Make sure you have a written agreement that specifies how much you'll pay and when you'll pay it, as well as that the payment covers the whole debt. An experienced consumer lawyer will assist you in reaching a satisfactory settlement.  

Dispute the verdict  

You could be able to appeal a default decision and have it vacated or set aside if it was rendered in error. If you never owed the debt, were not informed of the litigation, or the case was mismanaged, you might be entitled to do so.  

Consult a lawyer and answer as soon as you are aware of the decision. Garnishment orders may be issued in as little as a month after a judgment has been rendered.  

You have six months to claim "excusable negligence" if you were aware of the complaint but did not respond. You may use conditions like sickness or travel as an excuse. If you were unaware of the suit, you have up to two years to file a challenge. Since state laws differ, you should seek legal advice.  

Challenging a decision takes time and effort, but it can be worthwhile. According to Shin, “many customers will potentially get money back by restitution.” “The case may be entirely dismissed or revived, but if the case is reopened, there will be no decision in place. It's as if the case is being restarted from the beginning, but the person now has the opportunity to defend themselves.”  

Debt relief should be pursued

If you don't think you'll be able to manage the default judgment order any other way, you might be able to discharge it via bankruptcy. Consult a bankruptcy lawyer to see if bankruptcy is a viable choice for you.  

Take action right away. The judgment and other disciplinary proceedings will be put on hold if you file a bankruptcy petition.

Request a consultation with an attorney. Call our office at (630) 324-6666 or schedule a consultation with one of our experienced lawyers today. You can also fill out our confidential contact form and we will get back to you shortly.

To learn about “Illinois Default Judgments Explained,” click here.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this blog is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Each individual's legal needs are unique, and these materials may not be applicable to your legal situation. Always seek the advice of a competent attorney with any questions you may have regarding a legal issue. Do not disregard professional legal advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog.

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