A judgment from a court is a ruling by a judge that declares you do, in fact, owe money to another party, and that you must start making payments on that debt. Often judgments stem from credit card debt or unpaid medical bills, but they can also come from individuals from whom you’ve borrowed money.

Once the court has issued a judgment against you, the plaintiff (also known as the creditor) has a few options to collect the owed money. With a Writ of Execution, the creditor can get to the debtor’s bank accounts or valuable personal property (like jewelry or vehicles). Another course of repayment is to place a Wage Garnishment on the debtor’s paychecks. This is an automatic withdrawal of money from each paycheck the defendant receives, although it is usually no more than 25% of his or her net pay.

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