How to Find Out If I Have Any Judgments Against Me

by SKU

Published: Oct 30, 2017 | Updated: Nov 11, 2022 |

judgment lawyer buffalo ny

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In order to have a judgment placed against you it requires that you be served with a summons and complaint. Service generally happens by a process server knocking at you door and handing you the papers. Once you receive the complaint you have 20 days to answer. If you fail to answer a default judgment will be taken agaionst you. Sometimes you can have a default judgment entered against you because the process server served the wrong address and left the papers with the person that answered the door, or they never did the service, but claimed they did. If you don't recall being served, you will have to find out whether you have a judgment some other way.

One way you can find out is by getting a copy of your credit report. Most judgments will show up there. The three main credit reporting agencies are Equifax, Experian, and Transunion. You have the right to get one free credit report a year. Go to Annual Credit to get yours.

Another way you can find out if you have a judgment is by searching the county records at your county clerk's office. They generally have computer terminals that allow you to perform a search. Some counties make records available on the internet like the Erie County Clerk.

If you do have a judgment recorded against you in the clerks office, the judgment automattically attaches to any real estate that you own in that county. At this point it is important to find out more information on the judgment by reviewing the file at the clerks office to see if you had proper service, or to file bankruptcy to void the lien if the lien impairs your homestead exemption (meaning it has attached to the property where you live).

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