judgment debtor

Also found in: Financial, Wikipedia.

Judgment Debtor

A party against which an unsatisfied court decision is awarded; a person who is obligated to satisfy a court decision.The term judgment debtor describes a party against which a court has made a monetary award. If a court renders a judgment involving money damages, the losing party must satisfy the amount of the award, which is called the judgment debt. Such a decision gives the winner of the suit, or Judgment Creditor, the right to recover the debt, or award, through extraordinary means, and the court may help the creditor do so. State law governs how the debt may be recovered. Although the recovery process can be harsh, the law provides the debtor with certain rights and protection.

Following the verdict, other legal steps are usually taken against the judgment debtor. The court can order the debtor to appear for an oral hearing to assess the debtor's assets. If it is determined that the debtor has assets sufficient to satisfy the judgment debt, the court may order the debtor to surrender certain property to it. Commonly the judgment creditor must take additional legal action. This involves seeking the court's assistance in seizing the debtor's property, by the process known as attachment, or a portion of the debtor's salary, by the process called Garnishment.

For centuries, attachment of property was allowed ex parte—without first allowing the defendant debtor to argue against it. However, contemporary law affords the debtor some protection. The debtor has the right to minimal due process. States generally require that the judgment creditor first secure a writ of attachment, that the debtor be given notice before seizure occurs, and that the debtor have the right to a prompt hearing afterward to challenge the seizure.

Other protections apply to both property and wages. First, not every kind of property is subject to attachment. States provide exemptions for certain household items, clothing, tools, and other essentials. Additional provisions may protect individuals in cases of extreme hardship. Where the creditor seeks garnishment in order to seize the judgment debtor's wages, laws generally exempt a certain amount of the salary that is necessary for personal or family support.

Courts can exercise their discretion to go beyond the statutory protections for judgment debtors. They can exempt more property from attachment than that specified in a statute. In some cases they can also deny the attachment or garnishment altogether. This can occur when the creditor seeks more in property than the value of the judgment debt, or where the property sought is an ongoing business that would be destroyed by an attachment.

judgment debtor

n. the losing defendant in a lawsuit who owes the amount of the judgment to the winner. (See: judgment creditor)

judgment debtor

References in periodicals archive ?
Pursuant to your question (as per my understanding), it may be noted that since you have secured an order of payment of the outstanding rent for the leased premises, you have the right to execute or enforce the order against the judgment debtor, which in your case is the tenant.
District Court Judge Eldon Fallon to appear in court on July 17, 2014 for a Judgment Debtor Examination as to the default judgment, Taishan fired its attorneys and refused to show up.
the customer owed no debt to the judgment debtor and possessed no
A court can enter a "charging order" against the transferable interest of a judgment debtor (member or transferee) for payment of the debt with interest.
135) The judgment debtor asserted the continued relevance and applicability of the English approach to recognition.
Creditors often believe that once a judgment is obtained, the judgment debtor will in turn pay the debt.
However, where the judgment is a lien on the real properly of a judgment debtor, then the lien is only valid and enforceable for ten years.
Saudi Arabia, for example, will refuse to enforce a money judgment absent a treaty, and would require the plaintiff to commence a new action against the judgment debtor.
that "if a judgment debtor does not currently have property in [the forum], a judgment creditor should be allowed the opportunity to obtain recognition of his foreign-money judgment and later pursue enforcement if or when the judgment debtor appears to be maintaining assets in [the forum].
The trailers were recently bought from Brawn GP by the judgment debtor and really are something special.