Consumer: Signing a Confession of Judgment
Authored By: Legal Aid of North Carolina
Sometimes when you owe money to a creditor, the creditor will allow you to pay the money owed, but will also want for you to sign a Confession of Judgment or a Consent Judgment.
Signing a Confession of Judgment is a serious matter. It has the same effect as a Court Judgment after trial. In other words, the creditor would not have to take you to court to collect the amount owed, and you cannot bring any defenses that you could raise in court.
Once you sign the Confession of Judgment, it has no effect until your creditor files it in court. If you have entered an agreement to pay the amount owed, the creditor should not file the Confession of Judgment unless you fail to make payments. Once you complete your payments you should demand a copy of the Confession of Judgment with a notation stating that it is satisfied, signed by the creditor or his agent and dated.
If you fail to pay the amount agreed in the Confession of Judgment, the creditor can file it with the Clerk of Court. Once it is filed, the Confession of Judgment is a judgment against you. The creditor can enforce the judgment with collection. It will also have a negative effect on your credit.
You are not required to sign a Confession of Judgment. If you do not sign it, the creditor will have to take you to court to get a judgment. If a creditor is forced to take you to court, then additional fees, such as, attorneys’ fees and court costs can be added to the original amount owed for which you may be responsible.
Once a Confession of Judgment is filed in the court, the Confession of Judgment is a judgment against you.