Judgment Proofing – What Does It Mean to be Judgment Proof?
First and foremost, before discussing what judgment proof means, what exactly is a judgment? A judgment is “A decision by a court or other tribunal that resolves a controversy and determines the rights and obligations of the parties”. In other words, a judgment is the final part of a court case which ends the lawsuit. A judgment must be in writing and must clearly show that all the issues have been adjudicated.
A judgment must specifically indicate the parties of the case and who the judgment is granted for and whom it is granted against. Judgments can be monetary. If a monetary judgment is issued it must be definite, specific with certainty, and state the amount of the judgment in words, not just numbers. Judgments can also affect real property. If a judgment is issued against real property, it must contain an explicit description of the reality so that the land can easily be identified.
Lines are used to securing personal property to prevent a party from selling real property, or other items. For example, if a lien in filed as the result of a judgment, if the person in which the judgment was against would attempt to sell real property, or attempt to sell property inherited, etc., the lien clouds the title which prevents the sale of the property until the amount of the judgment is paid. This ensures the judgment is paid before a person can get any of the proceeds from the sale of property.
What does it mean to be judgment proof? Judgment proof simply means you do not have anything of value that could be taken from you to pay the amount of the judgment. This means the judgment proof individual(s) have little to no equity in a home or other real property; own minimal personal property, and are usually self-employed, which prevents wage garnishments. If you are faced with a situation described herein, contact us to make an appointment to discuss your financial situation to assist in determining if you are judgment proof. If you have little to no assets or income, let the law work for you, instead of against you in finding you are judgment proof.