In English and American law, a judgment debtor is a person against whom a judgment ordering him to pay a sum of money has been obtained and remains unsatisfied. Such a person may be examined as to their assets, and if the judgment debt is of the necessary amount he may be made bankrupt if he fails to comply with a bankruptcy notice (in US law, an involuntary petition) served on him by the judgment creditors.
Specific debts are non-dischargeable, such as debts for fraud and civil judgments that are obtained in a civil Adversary proceeding in bankruptcy. During such proceedings (US law) the judge who presides over the bankruptcy declares that a specific debt be deemed non-dischargeable, in that the bankruptcy will not dismiss the debt, and the debtor is obligated for the full amount of the judgment for life.
Examinations, referred to as judgment debtor exams or a JDX of the debtor are conducted in front of a district court judge, and the debtor is required to answer questions about his or her assets, or face the possibility of imprisonment for contempt of court.
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica. 15 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 541. .