Judgment Debtor Law & Legal Definition


A judgment debtor is a losing defendant in a lawsuit who owes the amount awarded in the judgment to the winner. The term is typically applied to a person who fails to pay the amount of the judgment they owe. An unsatisfied judgment is often noted in a credit report on a judgment debtor issued by various credit reporting agencies. 

The property of the judgment debtor is subject to lien, execution and levy by the judgment creditor. There are procedures, which vary by jurisdiction, for locating the assets of a judgment debtor and then attaching their assets or garnishing their income. Such procedures usually involve serving the judgment debtor with a written set of questions (interrogatories) or a verbal questioning under oath (deposition).