what is a default judgment in court

What Is A Default Judgment In Court?

If you fail to meet the terms of a credit agreement then debt recovery in the form of a default judgment in court may be launched against you. Find solutions...

So you’ve found yourself in some financial difficulty and have received a court summons. An attempt for the lender (plaintiff) to recoup their losses. For whatever reason, you did not attend or didn’t file the appropriate paperwork in the designated time frame. The next communication you receive advises you that a default judgment has been made in favour of the other party. What is a default judgment in court? And what does it mean for you going forward?

What Is A Default Judgment In Court? 

A default judgment(decision) in court occurs when a judgment is reached without the defendant (you) having a formal hearing. There are three main reasons this happens:

  • You did not acknowledge or file a response to the summons within the provided time-frame – usually 14 days.
  • You did not lodge a defence to the summon within the required time-frame.
  • You did not attend the pre-trial/listing meeting as required. 

If you receive a court summons, it is best to seek legal advice and deal with it as a priority to ensure all conditions are met prior to the hearing. Do not wait and be left wondering when it is too late ‘what is a default judgment in court?’ It is possible to avoid it.

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What Triggers Default Judgments?

If you fail to repay a loan or meet the terms of a credit agreement, a default judgment may be launched against you. They do not simply occur, they are a form of debt recovery. Party A (the lender) will lodge a statement of claim against party B (the borrower). If Party B fails to respond as required, then Party A wins by default. 

A lender must show that they have requested repayment of the borrowed amount OR return of the unpaid goods prior to escalating their claim to a default judgment. Typically you will have 21 days to resolve the issue with the lender prior to this next step being taken. 

What Is The Impact Of A Default Judgment?

A default judgment can have long-lasting and devastating financial consequences. It impacts heavily on your credit rating and can preclude you from borrowing in future. Even if the debt is cleared and resolved in full. 

Default judgments are enforceable and failure to comply can see you facing significant consequences.

  • Debt appropriation order. Your employer may be directed to garner your wages and pay the debt directly until it is cleared.
  • Sales order or property seizures.  Your property may be sold without your consent as a means to clear the debt. 

In effect, you could end up without a salary or homeless. So it is imperative that a default judgment is avoided at all costs. So what is a default judgment in court? Something you absolutely never want to be facing.

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Can I Get Rid Of A Default Judgment?

In extenuating circumstances, it may be possible to get rid of a default judgment without seeking professional support. However simple excuses stating you didn’t understand the paperwork or timeframes will not be sufficient grounds. Ignorance about what is a default judgment in court will not resolve the situation. Without professional assistance, there are two ways in which a default judgment can potentially be set aside:

  1. Application to the court.
  2. Submitting a genuine defence post-judgment for the court’s consideration and you can demonstrate a good reason you were unable to meet your court-ordered obligations. 

Provisions will be made with new time frames to submit your defence and attend court. 

  • Consent of the parties.
  • Highly unlikely since they lodged the application for the judgment in the first instance. However, if you can secure the consent of the plaintiff and come to an agreed settlement the judgment may be set aside. This option can be complex as you may need to borrow money in order to reach a settlement. With a default judgment in place, no one will want to lend you money. In some instances, you may be able to have the default set aside in order for you to borrow and clear the debt. You will likely have to offer some form of surety or asset to the plaintiff as a bond in the interim.

Remove A Default Judgment With Clean Credit

Clean Credit are one of Australia’s leading credit repair experts. We specialise in removing defaults, judgments, black marks and credit inquiries from your credit report. We have over 90% success rate when it comes to removing negative listings which is reflected in our excellent Trustpilot reviews.

By speaking to one to our credit repair team, we will be able to advise and assist you going forwards. It is possible to remove default judgments with our help. We can negotiate and dispute your case on your behalf. With court judgments lifted, you can expect to see a boost to your credit score and start to get loans again. As lenders see you as a trustworthy candidate, you will gain a far greater borrowing ability.

Ignoring your financial problems will only cause further issues. Having a clean credit file means greater financial freedom and opportunity for when you might need a loan. Enquire with Clean Credit here or call us on 1300 015 210 and receive fast, effective support.

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