Everything You Need to Know About a Motion for Default Judgment

You receive a notice in the mail informing you that your old debt has been sold to another collection agency and that if you don’t respond with proof of payment, you could face a judgment against you for an amount more than the original debt. Sound familiar? Here’s everything you need to know about what this motion for default judgment means, including how to prepare yourself to deal with it and what you can do to protect yourself from having your wages garnished, or property seized as a result of this ruling against you.

What is a motion for a default judgment?

A motion for default judgment is filed by the plaintiff to enforce the judgment without waiting the six-month period that would normally be required. It is filed after the defendant has failed to answer or otherwise defend against the lawsuit, and it asks the court for an order enforcing the judgment as final and conclusive.

Who can file a motion for a default judgment?

A motion for default judgment can be filed by the plaintiff who wants to receive judgment against the defendant without trial. Typically, this is done when the plaintiff has successfully proved their case and all that remains is for the judge to sign off on it.

What are the requirements for filing a motion for default judgment?

The requirements for filing a motion for default judgment vary depending on where the court is located. 

Generally, there are two criteria: 

  • The defendant has been served with the complaint; and 
  • The defendant has not filed an answer or other responsive pleading within 20 days of having been served. If these two requirements have been met, it may be possible to file a motion for default judgment. 

If you don’t know what your legal options are, get in touch with your local legal counsel.

What are the consequences of a default judgment?

A motion for default judgment is an attempt by the plaintiff to get a default judgment in their favor. If granted, this means that you have been found liable and owe the plaintiff money or property without being given an opportunity to defend yourself. This can have serious consequences. For example, if the court grants your request and enters a judgment against you, you could lose your house or car even if it’s collateral on another debt.

How can I avoid a default judgment?

A motion for default judgment can be filed when a defendant has not been served notice of the lawsuit and has not responded. If you have been served with notice, but cannot afford an attorney or simply do not want to hire one, you may be able to avoid the default judgment by filing an affidavit with the court explaining your situation. The court will then schedule a hearing to determine whether the case should go forward or if it should be dismissed due to lack of merit.


In conclusion, the motion for default judgment is an important motion that you need to be aware of. If the motion is granted, this can lead to your assets being seized and sold in order to pay off your debt. The best way to avoid this from happening is by answering the summons and pleading as soon as possible.

James Morkel

Tech website author with a passion for all things technology. Expert in various tech domains, including software, gadgets, artificial intelligence, and emerging technologies. Dedicated to simplifying complex topics and providing informative and engaging content to readers. Stay updated with the latest tech trends and industry news through their insightful articles.

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