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Lost Judgement 2 years ago - anything left?

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Wow, wish I knew about this site years ago. There may be nothing left I can do, but let me know if there is. Otherwise, let this be a warning that CAs really do go to court with little notice, and they lie! (duh)

I was personally served in May 2005 in Washington State (where I lived at the time) for a CA (PCA Intl, Seattle) collecting remaining balance for a hospital stay 1 year prior. Debt amount was $375 - I had no idea it existed. Summons said legal fees of $341 were also due.

Of course I panicked (just like they want) and called a lawyer, who gave the (crappy, I now know) advice to pay the $375, including a letter requesting dismissal of action. Lawyer said since it won't go to court, don't worry about legal fee, and that's simply it. I was uneasy, but did it.

CA cashed my check for original debt of $375. I heard nothing more and did nothing more, as my lawyer said it was now settled.

Yeah right!

In October 2005 my checking account was garnished for $341. I called the bank and they said it was for the legal fees in the judgement (which my lawyer assumed was dismissed.) Come to find out, it wasn't dismissed, CA still went to court in June 2005, I didn't show, thinking it was dismissed, and now I have a $341 District Court judgement on my (and my husband's) report. Ouch!

I contacted my hapless lawyer again, who sent letter to CA stating that by cashing my check for original debt amount, that showed acceptance of settlement and my terms of dismissal upon cashing check in included letter, but CA responded showing that summons stated "legal fees" were due regardless of payment of original debt, and they received no letter with the check requesting dismissal (filthy liars.)

I'm sure many of you can look at this at point out 100 or more wrong steps - I sure can now. I wasn't comfortable with any of it from the start - that's why I contacted a lawyer!

I live far out of state now, otherwise I see now that I could probably have it vacated in WA. court.

FICO is 702 - not horrible, but I'd like it better for upcoming mortgage application in 4 months. This is a major ding.

Again, if anyone has any suggestions, let me know. Contact CA? Hire NACA lawyer in WA? Anything?

Otherwise, heed the horror story.

Thanks to everyone on this site - I've learned ALOT in the past 24 hours.

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Do you have anything in writing from the CA that all amounts have been paid? Did the CA file a motion to set aside the judgment or a motion of satisfaction?

Is it showing on all 3 CRs? The quickest way I've found is to have the address where you lived at during the case removed from your CR. Then, after the address is removed, go back and dispute the judgment with the CRs. Most judgments are linked to CRs by address and not by SS#.

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