What happens if you had a judgment against you but really do not have the money to pay them?

If you have no money, you are "judgment-proof". For example, let's say a person was sued by a creditor, and that person was retired, his income a Social Security check, he had no bank account, no property, no car, nada. Creditors could sue and win until the cows came home. But the "win" would be nothing. There could be many other reasons, but the bottom line is that if there are no wages to garnish, no property to put liens on, no bank accounts to attach, then the judgment is monetarily meaningless. One would think that a creditor would avoid taking this kind of person to court.

The creditor will likely leave the judgment out there, and will eventually garnish your wages or attach to your checking account if you do become employed again. They can also garnish other income, such as government pay outs and even your tax refund. It is difficult to be truly judgment proof and not homeless. They can lien any property you own, they can wait until you are employed to begin garnishing pay checks/bank accounts. In some states, they can even force a "fire sale" where all your assets must be sold.


FYI: Social Security/SSI income in most cases [the exception being alimony and child support] can not be garnished, regardless of whether or not you have a bank account.