Depending on who you ask, the “Great Recession” resulting from the subprime mortgage crisis began in December 2007 and lasted about two years. So, about ten years ago, I was spending most of my work days working on loan documents for third, fourth, and sometimes fifth mortgages for a local bank who was really, really late to the mortgage boom.
Of course, the impact of this past recession was felt for years afterwards, meaning my spring 2007 HELOCS didn’t go bad until 2010 or 2012. As a result, just a few years later, I was suing and taking judgments against those same borrowers. From 2008 to 2014, I estimate that I obtained at least 500 judgments, ranging in amounts from $2,500 to $5,000,000.
As I like to say, if you were hearing from me, it was bad news.
So, with a drawer full of judgments, this is what keeps me up at night: Those judgments are only valid for ten years, and, if I haven’t collected on them, they expire.
I’m taking about Tenn. Code Ann. § 28-3-110(a)(2), which provides that actions on judgments are only valid for ten years.
So, a good rule of thumb is that, if you received a judgment against someone you haven’t been able to collect in the last ten years, go back and confirm when you were awarded that judgment. If you’re getting close to the ten year mark, you might be running out of time.
(But, not to be too dramatic, I’m going to talk about how to extend that time period soon.)