A judgment is the official decision of a court that resolves the dispute between the parties to a lawsuit. The judgment will be recorded in the official court records. A judgment gives the judgment creditor the legal right to collect on the debt from the judgment debtor by placing a judgment lien on the debtor's real property, garnishing the debtor's salary, or to attach the debtor's personal property. A judgment lien is a claim against the real estate of a debtor; the real estate cannot be sold until the judgment is satisfied. Attachment is the physical seizure of property owned by the debtor by a law officer, usually a sheriff, who usually sells the debtors personal property at public auction to satisfy the judgment. A default judgment results from the named defendant's failure to appear in court or from one party's failure to take appropriate procedural steps. A deficiency judgment is rendered in favor of the creditor for the difference between the amount of the indebtedness and the sum derived from the sale of the debtor's property held in order to repay the debt; probably the most common deficiency judgment results from the repossession of a car.
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