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Credit Hawk

Judgment or Bluff

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Question: Does a collection agency have to notify someone when they obtain a judgement against them? What is the procedure for being served?

This collection agency is trying to get me to pay $500 for an alleged debt from a university I graduated from and last attended in 1995. The letter states "our client has entered a judgment against you". Does that mean I have a judgment against me or is this just a scare tactic? Could they have obtained one and kept in their pocket for 6 years?

No judgment has ever shown up on any of my credit reports. Are they bluffing, and if so, should I call their bluff and tell them I will use the SOL defense for old debts which in NY is 6 years.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

EX: 745

EQ: 756

TU: 754

[Edit by Credit Hawk on Tuesday, June 10, 2003 @ 07:31 AM]

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What you need to do is call the courthouse and find out if there IS a judgment on record. If there is, get a copy of the case file, it will include a 'proof of service' that will show when, where, how, and by whom you were supposedly served. In most states, they can use the mail to serve a summons. Most have several methods of service allowed, so you won't necessarily see a process server to hand you the papers.

If you DO have a judgment, and the creditor can't just 'enter a judgment', then the SOL in NY is 10 years for judgments, not the normal debt SOL of 6. Judgments are also renewable, so they can be around for a while.

If there is no judgment at the courthouse, then the CA is full of horse manure.. as usual.

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I had an OC do a judgement against me once, and once I paid the OC off, they notified the courthouse, and had the matter "dismissed" I know for a fact they did, because it was there for a while, but after 2 or 3 calls, the matter was dropped, because I kissed that OC's butt, not that I wanted to, but had to, just to get it "dismissed".

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A judgement is the ruling of a judge as part of a court proceeding. In order to have a judgement entered against you, you must have been sued. Being sued requires being served papers or otherwise notifed of the case being filed against you. PERIOD.

Unless you were completely unavailable and were served public notice in a newspaper, (which can happen under certain circumstances) then you have to have been served with formal paperwork in order to have a judgement entered against you.

One doesn't just go get a judgement against someone. A judgement has to be awarded in court, by a judge after a lawsuit is filed and paperwork properly served.

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Thanks for all your responses.

As a follow up to Nolo, I was never served any papers, nor have ever received any court documents in the mail, by courier, etc.

That's why I think this collector is full of it. This alleged debt is from 1995. I don't think they could even obtain a judgement today in NY since it's been eight years. Correct?

Also, wouldn't a judgment have shown up on my credit report by now?

[Edit by Credit Hawk on Tuesday, June 10, 2003 @ 09:19 AM]

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<blockquote>Originally posted by Credit Hawk

Thanks for all your responses.

As a follow up to Nolo, I was never served any papers, nor have ever received any court documents in the mail, by courier, etc.

That's why I think this collector is full of it. This alleged debt is from 1995. I don't think they could even obtain a judgement today in NY since it's been eight years. Correct?

Also, wouldn't a judgment have shown up on my credit report by now?

[Edit by Credit Hawk on Tuesday, June 10, 2003 @ 09:19 AM]

</blockquote>

Well, as I mentioned, if you were completely unavailable (as in they were unable to find you), then I suppose it is possible that public notice was served, and you never saw it. (unlikely though)

To answer your question, you CAN still be sued sucessfully, even on debts that have run out the SOL. So yes, a judgement can still be entered against someone even for an old debt. It is up to the debtor to introduce the SOL defense in a timely mannor. As for the judgement showing up on your CR, you would think it would but it is possible that it did not. You should check this out directly with the court that allegedly issued the judgement. If there is indeed a judgement against you, there will most certainly be a record of it. Best of luck to you.

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:@ i'm having the exact same problem, and i tried to dispute it (because the sent the info to my parents,

and they forwarded it to me WEEKS later). Since they have a judgement on me that it seems passed 02/03

(i'm not living in the state andymore and haven't for some time, i went to school there in 1994),

will they try to garnish my wages to get it, or does it just hurt my credit? Can i make payments on it?

please help, thanx so much,

tam :(

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