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Definition of 'Judgment'

A judgment is the verdict of a court judge that a debt is lawfully due. The amount cannot be disputed once judgment has been made.

If someone is owed money and has difficulty getting it back, then he or she may apply to the court to obtain judgment. First a writ or a summons is issued to the person owing the money, which is a legally compelling invitation to attend court so the matter can be heard before a judge. The person bringing the court action is called the plaintiff, and the person owing the money is called the defendant.

In the absence of a defence being filed, or non-attendance in court by the defendant, or if the judge decides that the debt is properly due, then judgment will be given in favour of the plaintiff.

Judgment is necessary before a person owed monies can commence remedies for recovery, such as sending the bailiffs in.

If paid or settled, you can ask the plaintiff, or the plaintiff’s solicitor to update your credit report at any of the credit reference agencies, though for credit risk assessment purposes, and in particular in credit scoring, it makes no difference whether the judgment is marked as outstanding, paid or settled.

The important thing from a lender’s perspective is that another lender has had to take you to court to recover monies, and that’s a big disincentive to lend to you.

If the judgment has been set aside, struck out or dismissed, send the appropriate documentation from the court to the credit reference agency and ask them to remove the record from your credit report. Judgments are retained on Australian credit reports for 5 years.

Note that in legal circles, judgment is spelt with only one 'e'.

Use the links below to locate the term you are looking for. If you can't locate it, please get in touch.

Credit Jargon Starting 'G'

Credit Jargon Starting 'I'

Credit Jargon Starting 'J'

Credit Jargon Starting 'L'

Credit Jargon Starting 'M'

Credit Jargon Starting 'S'

Credit Jargon Starting 'T'

Credit Jargon Starting 'V'

Credit Jargon Starting 'W'

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