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Need Help with Judgement by Chase

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Please HELP.. Can someone please offer some advice on how to handle a judement on my credit report from Chase that was filed in Cook County? Here is some background. Sorry for the long thread.

In ~1988 I was in college and a resident of DeKalb County. I applied for and was approved for a Chase credit card.

A family member asked if they could use the card for some home renovations. As I was in Dekalb, IL and unable to shop with the family member, I contacted Chase and ask that they send a card in the family members name, this was in 1988. They never asked for the family member's SSN, and they sent the card with their name. I then mailed the card to the family member. Well the family member actually charged well over the amount that I had agreed they could use, to make a long story short, I contacted Chase with the family member on 3-way maybe in 1990 and asked that they close the account(I had never used the card and all charges had been made by the family member). At this point the balance on the card was 0 as the family member paid it off. During the call the family member asked if she could keep the account and Chase explained that because I had been the primary account holder, she would need to apply for a new card. At this point, I left the conversation as she began to submit an app via the phone.

Fast forward to 2004, the family member passes away and in the process of collecting/sorting through mail, I see mail from Chase with both my name and her name so I open it to find that they were new cards as the old cards had expired ! Also there were statements from Chase being sent to her address each month and I found money order receipts where she had been making on time payments to Chase in my Name.

In 2004, I did live in Cook County and I contacted Chase to inform them that I had requested that the Chase account be closed via the phone years ago and that I had not authorized for the account to remain open, the rep informed me that this was a joint account. They asked for my name and address, which I provided. Chase then began to send the statments to my house but they were addressed to my family member(she never lived at my address).

In 2005, I moved to FL. As I began to look for a home and obtained a copy of my credit report on Feb, 27, 2007, there was a judgement filed on 1/24/2006 by Chase on my credit. I never received the summons in Cook County as I had moved to FL and did not attend the court date, so a default judgment was entered. There was a substitute service(not sure what that means)

I contacted an attorney yesterday and he said that it would cost me $400 dollars and there as a 50-50 chance he could get the judgment vacated, he said it was a long shot because the judgement was filed more than 30 days ago. He suggested that I contact the attorney for Chase, and pay the judgement. Should I do this? Can I negotiate that they vacate the judment if I pay it off? I don't want to pay for charges I did not make but this judgment is affecting my chance to get a new job as well as purchase a home. :(

Here are the facts again in concise format:

1988- I lived in Dekalb County opened a Chase credit card account

1989 or 1990 - Had Chase issue a card in the name of family member

1990 - Closed the account with Chase (or so I thought)

1992- Became a resident of Cook County

2004- Family member passes away, I find new credit card in my name, along with money order receipt for payments dated back to 1998 that are made out in my name by family member payable to Chase

2004- I contact Chase to inform them that family member has passed, they begin to send mail to my home, addressed to the deceased

2004- Chase account becomes past due

2005- I relocate to Florida

- Chase serves substitute summons in Cook County(I never received)

2005 -Chase accounts shows on my credit report as Joint account

2005- I dispute, comes back verified

-Judgment filed againt me in Cook County

Any advice/suggestions would be helpful as I plan to contact the attorney for Chase this week. Thanks

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