A confession of judgment, also known as a cognovit note, is an important tool for creditors in a number of states. They are powerful when they can be used, but not every state allows them. When allowed, a confession of judgment is essentially a promissory note that includes confession of judgment language. A confession of judgment allows the creditor to appear in court and easily obtain judgment against the debtor. This obligates the debtor to pay the note in full when the debtor defaults on the previously stipulated loan payment schedule. Minnesota, as well as several other states, allows creditors to use this tool in certain commercial loan agreements. All this sounds great, but what’s the advantage for the creditor?
A confession of judgment provides powerful leverage to help secure debt and ensure the creditor gets paid in the event of a default in a payment schedule. By agreeing to this upfront, the debtor forfeits their right to contest the underlying debt once a payment is missed. This saves the creditor time and expense, and provides some additional confidence when accepting payment plans. An attorney can simply seek to enforce the confession of judgment and thereafter move quickly to secure assets without dealing with excuses and counterclaims. The paperwork prepared by the attorney does need to be carefully prepared, meet state statutory requirements and “concisely state the facts constituting the liability.” Once properly prepared, this device can greatly assist a creditor in getting paid.
If you have any questions regarding confessions of judgment or other collection tools please contact Jeffrey Nicolet via email at JNicolet@wfjlawfirm.com or by calling him at 612-339-1421.