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In English and American law, a judgment debtor is a person against whom a judgment ordering him to pay a sum of money has been obtained and remains unsatisfied. Such a person may be examined as to their assets, and if the judgment debt is of the necessary amount he may be made bankrupt if he fails to comply with a bankruptcy notice (in US, Law, an involuntary petition) served on him by the judgment creditors.
Specific debts are "non dischargable" such as debts for fraud, and civil judgments that are obtained in a civil Adversary proceeding in bankruptcy. During such proceedings (US LAW) the judge whom presides over the bankruptcy declairs that a specific debt be deemed as Non Dischargeable, in that the bankruptcy will not dismiss the debt, and the debtor is obligated for the full amount of the judgment, for life.
Examinations, referred to as Judgment Debtor Exams or a (JDX) of the debtor are conducted in front of a district court judge, and the debtor is required to make the debtor answer questions about his or her assets, or face the possibility of imprisonment for contempt of court. The moving attorney of judgment holder is able to request that the court issue an order, during the exam that forces the debtor to answer questions or be jailed.
The debtor is not allowed in the law to use the fifth as a response to any questions as the debtor is already deemed as convicted and he/she must answer any question put forth to them or face an order to comply or be jailed for non compliance.
The JDX is considered[according to whom?] to be in many civil actions the most effective manner to collect judgments as the debtor's potential incarceration is used as a motivating factor for then to answer questions of pay off the judgment.
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