An Overview of § 1775 under the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law (MVFRL)

Section 1775 of the Pennsylvania MVFRL pertains to the installment payment of motor vehicle-related judgments and defines the terms under which a judgment debtor can pay the judgment in installments, as well as the consequences of defaulting on these payments.
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Statutory Text

§ 1775. Installment payment of judgments.

(a) Order authorizing installment payment.--A judgment debtor, upon due notice to the judgment creditor, may apply to the court in which the judgment was rendered for the privilege of paying the judgment in installments and the court, in its discretion and without prejudice to any other legal remedies which the judgment creditor may have, may so order and fix the amounts and times of payment of the installments.

(b) Suspension prohibited during compliance with order.--The department shall not suspend a driver's operating privilege and shall restore any operating privilege suspended following nonpayment of a judgment when the judgment debtor obtains an order permitting payment of the judgment in installments and while the payment of any installment is not in default, provided that the judgment debtor furnishes proof of financial responsibility.

(c) Suspension for default in payment.--In the event the judgment debtor fails to pay any installment as specified by the order, then, upon notice of the default, the department shall suspend the operating privilege of the judgment debtor until the judgment is satisfied as provided in this chapter.

Key Terms:

Judgment Debtor:

A judgment debtor refers to the individual or party who owes money or assets as per a court-enforced judgment.

Judgment Creditor:

The judgment creditor refers to the party to whom the debt was originally owed and who will receive the payment from the judgment debtor.

Installment Payment:

This refers to the division of the court-mandated payment into smaller, manageable parts, which are to be paid over a given period.

Financial Responsibility:

This term is used to represent proof that a person is capable of paying for damages caused by a motor vehicle accident.

Relevance to Pennsylvanian Drivers:

This section provides Pennsylvanian drivers an important level of financial protection should they be involved in an accident, potentially allowing them to maintain their operating privileges while paying off any judgments against them in manageable increments.

Relevance to Pennsylvania Attorneys:

Pennsylvania attorneys should be familiar with this law to best advise their clients about their options and responsibilities should a judgment be rendered against them. This knowledge is crucial to providing a robust defense and effectively representing their client's interests.

Language Analysis:

Several key phrases and terms found within Section 1775 are integral to a complete understanding of this law. For instance, the phrase "upon due notice to the judgment creditor" establishes that there must be clear and defined communication between the debtor and the creditor when requesting for installment payments.

The phrase "in its discretion and without prejudice" indicates the court possesses a degree of flexibility to determine whether installment payments may be appropriate, based on the details of the case, and that this decision should be without bias or preconceived decisions.

The clause "then, upon notice of the default, the department shall suspend the operating privilege" makes clear the repercussions of failing to adhere to the agreed-upon payment plan. This stipulation provides a level of protection to the creditor by ensuring the debtor is held accountable for non-payment.

Section 1775 also refers to the necessity of showing "proof of financial responsibility," indicating that even if granted installment payments, the debtor still needs to demonstrate the ability to financially cover future potential liabilities associated with operating a vehicle.

By decoding these legal phrases and understanding their application, both attorneys and drivers can successfully navigate the stipulations of this particular MVFRL section.

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Von Wooding

Von Wooding

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