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Judgments, Bankruptcies and Liens

A judgment is the decision of a court, whether via a judge or a jury, that determines the outcome of a civil or criminal court case.

A civil court case involves a lawsuit, often over property disputes, landlord/tenant disputes, or other non-violent issues.

A criminal court case might involve vehicular homicide, theft above a certain dollar amount, murder, drugs, drug paraphernalia and drug dealing.

A bankruptcy occurs when a company or individual does not have enough money to cover their debts as agreed. When a person or company declares bankruptcy, they must file paperwork, attend a hearing, sometimes meet with their creditors, and depending on the type of bankruptcy, work out a payment plan or simply ask to be excused from ever paying back any of the debt. Some companies file for bankruptcy because they want to avoid getting hit with a lien. The lien forces them to pay back their creditors. If a company files for bankruptcy, they will avoid a lien and the necessity of paying creditors because it is now filed and documented with the courts that there is no money available to pay off creditors.

A lien is a type of security interest granted for a property to secure the payment of a debt or some other obligation. For example, if you owe a debt, the entity owed may place a lien against your home, and this would show up in your credit record and public court files until the debt is paid. In the event the debt is not paid, they entity may be entitled to become the owner of your property.

All of these legal circumstances can also be recorded as a judgment. Judgments determine who is at fault in a civil suit or a criminal suit, who is awarded money in a civil suit and how much money the injured party is awarded. A judgment is also recorded on the individual??s credit report, making it difficult for the person to obtain credit, get a job, get car or health insurance, and a number of other bad outcomes.

There are six chapters of bankruptcy within the United States government:

? Chapter 7 bankruptcy: Basic liquidation for individuals and businesses
? Chapter 9 bankruptcy: Municipal bankruptcy
? Chapter 11 bankruptcy: Reorganization of businesses in debt
? Chapter 12 bankruptcy: Rehabilitation for farmers and fishermen
? Chapter 13 bankruptcy: Rehabilitation for individuals with a regular income
? Chapter 15 bankruptcy: International bankruptcy

When conducting a background search, judgments can tell you a lot about the individual and their character. You may also be able to contact the companies who have judgments against the individual, or have placed liens on the individual??s property, to dig up more important information on that person. To really dig down for true information, there??s no better place to start than http://www.governmentregistry.org/.


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