How Do I Get a Judgment Changed to the Right Company?

“Dear Michael,

I had a judgement a few years ago its on my county records as a lien The company Equitable Acent is no longer in business. Algate owns the company now. Since the name on the judgement and on my records at the courthouse is Equitable and not Algate can I have it removed.

Can I get the lien from a judgement removed since the name on it is not in business anymore?


Dear Russell,

While not terribly common, judgment debts can change hands after the entry in the court record. This can happen when a debt collection company is bought out, or when a major Sallie Mae debt collector like Arrow Financial closes its doors.

In my 20 plus years’ experience I would say it is uncommon for acquirers and buyers of judgment debts to file anything new notifying the court of an ownership change. I am seeing more of the new owner of an acquired judgment debt bringing on a new law firm to collect on the account. That new attorney will then sometimes file a change of counsel with the court. This is often done in an effort to then seek out the extraordinary collection means afforded judgment creditors.

Judgment liens are not the only thing you have to worry about. To the extent allowed in your state, you are still at risk of wage garnishment and/or bank account levy.

You likely cannot get the judgment removed from the court record due to a change in ownership. You would have to challenge the judgment itself and get it vacated or voided under some legal theory that can be applied to the situation. That is not easily done, and made harder still the older the judgment. But there are a sprinkling of consumer law attorneys that can help in this regard. What state are you in? I may be able to suggest some with experience that you can speak with.

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I have some experiences dealing with old Equable Ascent Financial debts. If you cannot get the judgment set aside or vacated, what would your next goal be? Post in the comments below for additional feedback.

Michael Bovee founded CRN, a unique company offering debt negotiation education and services, in 2004. Bovee has been contributing articles and free reader feedback on this site for several years.

Michael is a debt industry professional who has volunteered his time to help answer reader questions.

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