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Lexington Park, MD 20653
A confessed judgment is an enforcement tool
that is used to provide added security for a promissory note or loan. Under normal circumstances, if a borrower
defaults on a loan, the lender has to go to court and sue the borrower. After the suit is filed, a trial date is set
and after the trial, a court will enter a judgment in favor of the lender,
provided that the evidence supports its claims.
At trial, the burden is on the lender to prove the existence of the
loan, the legal liability of the borrower, and the amount that is due.
A confessed judgment note is an agreement
between the lender and the borrower that, in the event that the borrower
defaults on his obligation, allows the lender to go to court and get a judgment
against the borrower without having a trial.
Unlike a normal case in which a judgment is entered only after a hearing
before a judge, in a confessed judgment case, the rules allow for the judgment
to be entered by the Clerk of the Court provided that plaintiff supplies the
right documents when filing. In order to
get a confessed judgment, the plaintiff must file a complaint; an original or
photocopy of the written instrument which authorizes the confession of
judgment; and an affidavit stating the amount that is due and the address of the
Upon filing of an action for confessed
judgment, the court, if it is satisfied with the pleadings, will issue a notice
informing the defendant of the entry of the judgment and of the latest time for
filing a motion to open, modify, or vacate the judgment. The plaintiff must serve the defendant with
the notice and copies of the original pleadings in the same manner as one is
ordinarily required to serve a lawsuit.
A confessed judgment has all of the attributes
of any other kind of judgment and functions as a lien against any real property
belonging to the defendant in whichever counties it is recorded. A confessed judgment, after it is entered may
be opened, modified, or vacated by the defendant upon a showing that the
defendant has a meritorious defense. To
do this, this defendant must file a motion and state in the motion the legal
and factual basis for his defense. If
the defendant requests a hearing on his motion, he is entitled to one by
law. The defendant must file this motion
within the time limits that are ordinarily provided for filing an answer. This may be thirty to ninety days depending
on where the defendant resides.
If the court finds that there is a substantial
and sufficient basis for an actual controversy as to the merits of the action,
the court will order the judgment by confession opened, modified, or vacated
and permit the defendant to file a responsive pleading. Normally a plaintiff may not takes
enforcement action such as selling the defendants property and an employment
may not remit wages under a wage garnishment prior to the time period for
filing the motion to vacate has expired and any motion filed by the defendant
has been ruled on by the court.
A confessed judgment may be entered prior to
the maturity date provided for in a loan, if the loan allows for early
entry. A note that allows for confession
of judgment any time after maturity will not allow for entry until the note is
If you are seeking to enforce or defend an
action involving a confessed judgment, consider contacting the Law Offices of
Baldwin & Briscoe, P.C. Our
attorneys are experienced in collection matters and have litigated both sides
of Confessed Judgment cases. We’d be
happy to review and discuss the specifics of your situation with you, without
any obligation on your part.
contained on this page is provided as general information and does not
constitute legal advice. The experienced
attorneys at Baldwin & Briscoe, P.C. can assist you if you are involved in
a confessed judgment matter or any civil litigation or collections
situation. We’d be happy to sit down
with you and review your situation and provide appropriate advice. Call today for your no-obligation
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With an office conveniently located in Lexington Park, The Law Offices of Baldwin, Briscoe & Stienmetz, P.C. serves clients in the counties and cities of Lexington Park, Leonardtown, Hollywood, Mechanicsville, Loveville, Helen, Breton Bay, Chaptico, Charlotte Hall, Golden Beach, Avenue, La Plata, Waldorf, Newburg, Port Tobacco, Port Charles, Solomons Island, Prince Frederick, Chesapeake Shores, Hughesville, Benedict, Nanjemoy, Lusby, Port Republic, St. Mary's County, Charles County, Calvert County, Prince George's County, Southern Maryland.