If the consumer has not paid, they can return to court and seek a writ from the judgment court that orders you to pay in a specific manner, such as by attaching assets or garnishing your pay. That can be done at any time while the judgment remains enforceable. Judgments are usually enforceable for an initial period of 10 years, and can easily be extended. Is the judgment currently still enforceable?
More specifically, it is called a writ of execution. This is a motion on the suit that allows the plaintiff to attempt to collect by taking your property (rudely) using a law-enforcement officer. In Texas, for example, a state that is notorious for protecting consumers against judgements, the period of enforceability is 10 years. At the 10-year mark, the judgement becomes dormant and essentially unenforceable. But within 2 years after this 10-year mark, the judgment may be revived for another 10 years by the creditor using a process called scire facias, where the creditor challenges the debtor in court to show cause as to why the judgment should not be enforced. There is a fee for doing this, on the order of $100 or more, depending on which county the judgement was filed in. If the judgment is not revived within the 2-year period, then the judgment remains dormant.
Texas Property Code is clear about not being able to effect a writ of execution on a dormant judgment:
Sec. 34.001. NO EXECUTION ON DORMANT JUDGMENT. (a) If a writ of execution is not issued within 10 years after the rendition of a judgment of a court of record or a justice court, the judgment is dormant and execution may not be issued on the judgment unless it is revived.
(b) If a writ of execution is issued within 10 years after rendition of a judgment but a second writ is not issued within 10 years after issuance of the first writ, the judgment becomes dormant. A second writ may be issued at any time within 10 years after issuance of the first writ.
This means that, if a judgment is allowed to simmer for 10 years, and the creditor neglects to revive it within the 2-year "grace period" immediately following the 10 years, the judment must remain dormant. Since it is dormant, no writ of execution can be performed. This means that you are now protected from writs of execution on the judgment. However, I do not think that you are protected from liens placed against real property, which is different. A 12-year-old dormant judgment will make many creditors in Texas unhappy because it means that, in many cases, there is no way to force debtor to pay, other than liens, and Texas's homstead exemption prevents liens being placed on primary residence. After the 12-year mark, the debtor can then accumulate gobs of cash, and never surrender it. Knowing that the creditor can no longer force writs of execution, debtor can make creditor squirm, and demaned a settlement for a low-ball amount. Texas allows 10 acres of land for homsetead in urban areas and 200 acres in rural areas. But if debtor attempts to buy another house on separate lot in urban area...that's not a homestead! LIEN!
Also, debtor cannot hide wealth from writ of execution by funneling it into his/her homestead :
If a person uses the property not exempt under this chapter to acquire, obtain an interest in, make improvement to, or pay an indebtedness on personal property which would be exempt under this chapter with the intent to defraud, delay, or hinder an interested person from obtaining that to which the interested person is or may be entitled, the property, interest, or improvement acquired is not exempt from seizure for the satisfaction of liabilities.
What the law is saying here is that, if you win $50,000 gambling in Las Vegas, and, to avoid giving it up under a writ of execution, go out and buy a $51,000 door encrusted with gold nuggets whose molten value is worth $50,000; the court will might not allow you to claim that the door is "just another door in your house" if creditor can prove your intent to avoid.
Yaaaaay!! good for you. Many congrats!.. Did your score shoot up at all?