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Ventura Confession of Judgment Attorney

If you are dealing with mounting business or consumer debt, your creditor might approach you with a request that you agree to a “confession of judgment.” Confession of judgment is an unusual legal tool that waives many of a debtor’s defenses and rights. However, there are reasons why a confession of judgment may be appropriate in your case.

If you are struggling with debt and your creditor has asked you to sign a confession of judgment, it is important that you obtain advice from a knowledgeable debt relief attorney. The Ventura debt relief lawyers at Rounds & Sutter can evaluate your finances, advise you of your options, and help you chart a path toward financial freedom and security.  Our debt relief attorneys will walk you through the confession of judgment process, review the proposed confession, and help you decide whether confession of judgment is your best avenue.

What is a Confession of Judgment?

A confession of judgment is a process where a creditor asks a debtor to agree to the entry of legal judgment against the debtor. Confession of judgment removes the need for filing a lawsuit and pursuing claims in court: Even though no lawsuit is ever filed, the confession of judgment has the same legal effect as a court-imposed judgment. The confession of judgment grants the creditor the power to pursue collection efforts against the debtor, including means that require a court judgment such as garnishment of wages.

What Are the Requirements for a Valid Confession of Judgment?

A confession of judgment is a significant legal concession, so it requires appropriate formalities to be executed and subsequently enforceable.  California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) sections 1132, 1133, and 1134 govern confessions of judgment. Under the CCP, a confession of judgment requires the following:

  • A statement in writing, signed by the defendant (the debtor) under oath, including the following:
    • Authorization of entry of judgment for a specific sum of money;
    • A concise statement of the facts from which the debt arose; and
    • Facts showing the sum is justly due.
  • The debtor must have their own independent attorney review the proposed confession of judgment, advise the defendant of their rights and the waiver of rights inherent in the judgment, and advise the defendant that they should proceed with the confession judgment.
  • The attorney must sign a certification stating that they have reviewed the judgment and so-advised the debtor.
  • The confession must be filed with the county clerk in the county where the judgment is to be entered. The clerk must endorse the confession and enter a judgment of the court for the amount confessed. The statement and affidavit will become the judgment.

A confession of judgment can be based on a contingent liability, as well. Extra care must be taken to ensure the judgment only goes into effect should the appropriate conditions occur.

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages to Confession of Judgment?

Confession of judgment may seem at first blush like a ludicrous choice for a debtor: You are essentially giving up your right to contest a debt and giving the creditor a fast track to pursue any and all legal collection methods. There are, however, reasons why a confession of judgment may be worth agreeing to, even for the debtor.

The primary advantage of agreeing to a confession of judgment is to alleviate the need for a court proceeding. If a debtor knows that they would only be fighting a losing battle were they to challenge the debt, then the court proceeding would just delay the inevitable. Meanwhile, the debtor may be racking up legal fees and other litigation expenses. Depending on the terms of the contract, the debtor may even be on the hook for the creditor’s legal fees should the creditor prevail. If the court proceeding takes time, and the creditor knows that the attorney fees and litigation costs will be shifted to the debtor once the creditor wins, the creditor might happily rack up tens of thousands of dollars in fees that will be piled on top of the debt the debtor already owes.

The disadvantages to a confession of judgment, on the other hand, are obvious: The debtor is admitting that they owe the debt and giving the creditor a powerful legal tool to use in collecting on that debt. The confession of judgment is legal, final, and binding; absent unusual circumstances, there would be no getting around owing on the debt. While other debt-relief options such as filing for bankruptcy would still exist, the debtor is forgoing their right to contest owing the debt itself.

Your California debt relief attorney can walk you through the process, the effects, and the pros and cons of signing a confession of judgment.

Discuss Confession of Judgment and Other Options With an Experienced California Debt Relief Attorney

If you are struggling with credit card debt and other bills, we can help relieve your financial stress and give you a fresh start. Contact the Ventura debt relief lawyers at Rounds & Sutter for a free consultation and find out whether a confession of judgment makes sense in your case. We will work with you to develop the best strategy for finding financial independence. We take the time to listen to your situation and help you decide the best course of action to protect your finances, your family, and your future.