Old Judgment

HOW TO CASH IN ON THAT OLD JUDGMENT

A lot has happened in the last decade. Hurricane Katrina hit. We elected and re-elected the first African-American man as president. A team of Navy SEALS killed Osama Bin Laden. Apple gave us the iPhone in 2007. (Do you remember when everyone didn't have their eyes glued to their smartphones?)

Yet, that civil judgment you never collected a penny on is still sitting in the corner, collecting a thick layer of dust. Is it too late? Do civil judgments expire?

The quick answers are: it depends and yes. In California, money judgments automatically expire after a decade (10 years) from the date the judgment was issued, according to California Code of Civil Procedure 337.5(b) and 683.110. Yet, you still have a chance to collect on that dusty judgment, as long as you don't hit the 10-year mark.