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My husband had a judgment against him last summer after several months of fighting with the attorney. In short, here is what happened (okay, not so short):

The original creditor was CitiFinancial. The loan was made in April 2003 (before we were married) and his first default payment was Sept 2004 when his company started the procedures for Bankruptcy and laying people off. Anyways, I had paid a couple of money orders in Sept of 2005 to help him out a bit and to let the creditor know that he intended to pay on the loan once he was again in a financial position to do so. He received a letter in April of 2006 from an attorney stating that he was attempting to collect a debt for Barnes Financial. DH called the attorney who said Barnes had bought the debt from CitiFinancial and now he was collecting an their behalf. We never received anything from either CitiFinancial or Barnes saying the debt had been sold, so we asked the attorney for proof that Barnes was now the owner of this debt. Oh, the attorney stated that Barnes had bought the account in April of 2005, and yet CitiFinancial accepted those money orders in Sept 2005 for this debt. Anyways, we followed up with a written request to the attorney for verification of the debt. We also filed a copy of this request with the court since by this time the attorney had filed for a judgment. His verbal response was that his letter of collection was our proof. We then received from the attorney copies of the papers he submitted to the court requesting a “default judgment” against DH. In those papers it stated that the original loan was extended to my DH in April of 2005, and never mentions the original creditor. So, again DH called the attorney and followed up with a letter asking for proof of Barnes owning this debt. Instead, the attorney sends us a letter requesting a copy of the original contract with CitiFinancial and all statements and proof of payment...things we expected from Barnes as proof. They gave us 10 days before they would continue with the request for a default judgment.

So, DH paid $50 hoping to avoid any further legal action, but the next thing we received from this attorney was a copy of the default judgment. Now I have a BUNCH of questions. Mean while DH has been paying $50 per month towards this debt, made out to Barnes and sent to the attorney.

Firstly, IF this is legit, does the "default" date for credit bureau reporting now become April 2005?

Secondly, since this later date, and the judgment occurred after we were married will this affect MY credit and be seen as a marital debt?

And finally, the judgment papers don't look right. The original papers requesting the default judgment were not included. The only thing here is two pieces of papers. The first states, "Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment having come before the court, the time for filing responsive documents having passed, and the court being advised in the premises, it is here by, ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that the plaintiff have judgment as prayed for in the complain as follows:

There is then a two column table with dollar amount on one side and what they represent on the right. For example, the first row had $X Principle. The final line had the TOTAL JUDGMENT. There is a line indicating a credit of $50 that DH had paid. (Can they continue with a judgment when payment, regardless of how small, is being made and they accept it?)

(following this table is states)

"with interest on the total judgment at 6.36% per annum as provided by law from the date of this judgment until paid, plus after accruing costs.

On the second sheet it is dated. But what is odd to me is the "JUDGE OF THE COURT" line. It has "1st" written on the line and then "Dawson" under the line. I have dealt with the courts here before (nasty divorce) and I never saw a judge sign just his last name, and certainly not under the line. I though perhaps the 1 represented 1st District Court, but the stamps on front (this whole thing is a photo copy BTW) has two FILED date stamps (one crossed out) and then SECOND DISTRICT COURT on them. Also, there isn't a court notary stamp on this.

So, if I haven't lost you in all this mess (and believe me I'm totally confuse by it), what do we do now? I don't know if legally a judgment can be filed and made this way.

Thanks a million to anyone who can offer some advice.

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First thing I'd do is call the courthouse tomorrow - FIRST THING! Make sure this is a real judgment. Like you, I think the papers sound fishy.

There will be a docket number listed on the papers. Usually on the first page. The clerk of court will need that

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Okay, finally got DH to call the court (I'll only hold his hand for so long). Anyways, they said that there is a judgement for Barns to collect, but that it doesn't mean they actually own the debt. The court gave a bit of other information over the phone:

1st ~ Barns did not file anything that proves they own the debt, no payment history or anything. Just that table indicating what was owed and why. They DID submit the letter that DH had written requesting proof that they owed this debt, and their response letter asking DH for that proof (which the lady he spoke too thought was odd they would request that from him when the weight of proof is on them).

2nd ~ There is no proof of summons, although there were several statements from the attorney that said DH had been notified by mail. (in Utah you can be summoned/served by mail BUT it must be done by certified mail and signed by someone when delivered)

3rd ~ There is something the attorney filed about requesting a hearing where DH could physically be there to defend himself, but there is no proof that this was sent on to DH, thus the Default Judgement.

We plan on going down next week and getting a copy of the whole file from the court. So, now what do we do? Do we still try and validate the debt? Do we continue to pay Barns (we received something from the Attorny that threatens to bring DH back to court for wage garnishment if the debt isn't paid soon)? Can we do this all on our own, or do we need to hire our own attorney?

We are trying to buy our first home and this is the ONLY thing standing in our way.

Thanks a bunch.

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