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Vacating a judgement


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We owed Direct Merchants $6,471.71. They sent it to a Law Firm in July of last year and we received a judgment.

1) On July 14, 2006, the Law Firm stated the claim amount as $6471,71.

2) I failed to request verification of the debt within 30 days.

3) The next piece of correspndence I received from them was dated August 15th, and the claimed amount was again $6471.71

3) On August 23rd, I received an "adjustment letter" stating that the new balance from their client was now $6562.17.

4) On October 10, they filed a "warrant of debt" that was supposedly served by the local sheriff - though I did not receive it.

5) December 11 was the court date, which I missed because I did not receive the warrant above and a judgment was entered, and apparently interest awarded.

6) On December 13th, I received a "special settlement" offer, stating the total claim as now being $6605.17, despite a $20 payment I made to them.

Here are my questions:

1) Can I, and is it worth, requesting verificiation of the debt?

2) How can I get a copy of the judgment, which I can't seem to find and doubt I ever received?

3) How do I go about getting this vacated?

4) Once it's vacated, what next?

Thanks all.

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1) Can I, and is it worth, requesting verificiation of the debt?

Nope, too late for that.

2) How can I get a copy of the judgment, which I can't seem to find and doubt I ever received?

Call your local court clerk.

3) How do I go about getting this vacated?

File a petition with the court, reason being that you were not served notice

4) Once it's vacated, what next?

Cross that bridge when you get to it.

-r

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1) Can I, and is it worth, requesting verificiation of the debt?

It's not really worth it at this point, I would worry about the judgment.

2) How can I get a copy of the judgment, which I can't seem to find and doubt I ever received?

It was probably filed in civil court of the county where you live, or the county where you lived when you took out the debt (if you've moved since). Call the clerk of court and ask for copies.

3) How do I go about getting this vacated?

Once you have copies check the Affidavit of Service to see how you were served. Be sure to check the Rules of Civil Procedure in your state...some state that being "served" means mailing a copy to your last known address. If you weren't served properly, you can file a Motion to have it vacated. Check your RCP to see what filing a Motion entials...more than likely you'll have to notify the plantiff that you've done so. Again, if you don't know what you're doing it would be wise to hire a lawyer to represent you.

4) Once it's vacated, what next?

If it gets vacated they'll have to start over.

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I forgot to mention, I'm in Virginia. Here's what our code states about service:

Upon commencement of an action, process shall be served in the manner set forth in this chapter and by the Rules of the Supreme Court.

So the court states that a sheriff served the papers - left it in the door. We have stong winds around here and it's entirely possible that it blew off! Is that grounds for stating that I wasn't served?

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Take a look at "Manner of Service Process Upon Natural Persons" at this link:

http://www.serve-now.com/resources/process-serving-laws/Virginia/#801287

I would take a look at the Affidavit of Service and see if it fits any of those methods. Again, this doesn't mean you can't get it vacated...but looking at the AoS is the first step.

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Again, I'm not a lawyer, but it looks like they should have mailed a copy as well.

"If such service cannot be effected under subdivision 2 a, then by posting a copy of such process at the front door or at such other door as appears to be the main entrance of such place of abode, provided that not less than ten days before judgment by default may be entered, the party causing service or his attorney or agent mails to the party served a copy of such process"

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