Asked in Collections for Missouri

Q: How long are judgements good for?

In 2013, I got a judgement against me for a $900 credit card with an accuring interest and court costs. At the time, I was making $4.00 hr as a server, a single mom of 2 and going to college. I tried telling the attorney I could only pay $25 a month. He insisted on $50. Shortly after the judgement I was let go after 10 years at my job. I've never paid more than 1 or 2 payments. I know. I know....

Now almost 10 years later, I have a Master's degree and a decent job. I've worked hard to get where I am. I'm getting ready to purchase my first home. I need to know should I call and try to settle or is the judgement even valid? They have attempted to locate me in 2015 and 2019 to take me back to court.

I'm not trying to dodge this responsibility. I was young and financially uneducated. I also lived check to check for a long time. I want to make things right but don't want to open a can of worms. I'm afraid of not being able to buy a home after contacting them.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Ronald J. Eisenberg
Ronald J. Eisenberg
  • Collections Lawyer
  • Chesterfield, MO
  • Licensed in Missouri

A: Missouri judgments last for 10 years unless revived sooner or there is a payment reflected on the record I’m not sure if your two payments are shown on the record. If so, that automatically resets the clock. A small claims judgment is not a lien on real estate but the title company still might care. You state that you aren’t trying to dodge the judgment but you’ve prioritized other things if you’ve only made one ot two payments since it was entered. Now would be a good time to do the right thing and satisfy the judgment regardless whether it affects the house purchase.

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