A judgment is a formal decision made by a court following a lawsuit. It is not uncommon for creditors or debt collectors to sue debtors for nonpayment of their debts and obtain judgments. Judgments are considered public records, which means anyone has access to view those filings.
Your score will be affected by the presence of an adverse public record, whether paid or not. They can remain on your credit report for up to 10 years based on what type of public record.