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Lost Judgment A Year Ago: Want to Satisfy


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Hello All,

Last November or so, (2006), I was served with a Summons from a Chase credit card debt. The attorneys for Chase, (Mann Bracken), sued me. They wrote a letter for Summary Judgment to which I responded to try and demand I be present in court. The judge took their side and found a judgment in their favor. I then filed a motion to vacate but no luck there.

Long story, but the bottom line is that right now, I owe Chase just under $2,200 and will [hopefully] be in the market for a house in the next 2-3 years. As of now, (knock on wood), the attorneys never contacted me after they won and my wages are intact. But I fear if I don't do something, not only will it hurt my quest for a house, but it will probably be renewed or something down the road, etc.

My question [finally!] is what do I do at this stage? While I really don't want to send any money, this summer, a lot of my student loans will mature and I'll have some mula that I could spend if it means saving me thousands and thousands in interest down the road. But my concern is that I could pay and it would still linger on my report for an additional 7 years from the time I finish paying.

Would it be smarter to write a letter saying I would pay in full if they changed their tradeline to "Paid As Agreed"?

Additionally, when I pulled my credit reports this year, I didn't see anything under the "Public Records" portion. But in the "Closed Accounts" area, it lists under Chase's name and has "180" since approximately January of 2006 thru present.

I've posted in the next thread with the "Questions To Answer" for a more accurate picture.

Thanks for any help/ suggestions anyone can shed on this!!!

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1. Who is suing you?

Attorneys: Mann-Bracken

2. For how much?


3. Who is the original creditor?

Chase Manhattan

4. How do you know you are being sued?

I was served, (lost case)

5. How were you served? Were you served?

Processor hand-delivered

6. What was your correspondence (if any) with the people suing you before you think you were being sued?

I previously sent a Debt-Validation letter at some time in '06 but never received a response. Additionally, it wasn't sent as registered or sent to the 3 Credit Bureaus... I know. :oops:

7. Where do you live?


8. When is the last time you paid on this account?

According to my credit reports, March of 2003

9. What is the status of your case (if anything has been opened)? You can find this by a) calling the court or B) looking it up online (many states have this information posted daily).

I lost and should have a judgment against me

10. Have you disputed the debt with the credit bureaus (both the original creditor and the collection agency?)

Kind of, (see Question# 6)

11. Did you request debt validation before the suit was filed? If not, don't bother doing this now.

See Question# 6

12. Does your summons require a response? (Look hard!) If you don't get a questionnaire with your summons, you are still probably required to answer it in writing. If you don't respond to the lawsuit notice you will lose automatically. In 99% of the cases, they will require you to answer the summons, and each point they are claiming. We need to know what the "charges" are. Please post what they are claiming. Did you receive an interrogatory (questionnaire) regarding the lawsuit?

My original summons required a response. Basically, they won an Arbitration case, (I honestly never received anything until after it was "awarded"), and the case was just to make it "official".

13. What evidence did they send with the summons? An affadavit? A statement from the OC? Anything else they attached as exhibits?

They initially sent the award letter from the National Arbitration Forum

14. What is the SOL on the debt?

At this point, since it's a Judgment, I think it's 12 years now since it's a judgment and might be renewable.


* On my credit report, I don't see anything under "Public Records". Weird... :confused:

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Yeah kevin3344, I was kind of thinking the same thing. :? I may have caught a break since my wages weren't garnished, etc and there's nothing currently on the report aside from the "180" tradelines. Not that I'm happy with those TLs, but it could be much worse. And technically speaking, when I do go to get a mortgage, alot of my good-standing credit that I've really worked hard for will begin to lose ground, (time), compared to that thing - and that's my "best-case" scenario! :| (ie that it just stays as a reoccurring late payment)

And trueq, honestly, I don't even know about my defense too much. I was kind of just going through everything I could online to try and find out what I could do. Initially, when I received the summons that required an answer, I filed a "Notice of Intent to Defend" In that, under the "Statement of Plain Facts", I had:

The defendant, despite numerous requests to the attorney representatives – Mann-Bracken, LLC - for the Plaintiff, have not received any copy of the Cardmembers Agreement, referenced in the filed Petition to Confirm Arbitration Award. Without this contract nor documented correspondences supporting alleged expenditures, the defendant has no knowledge of this alleged debt.

Following the notice from Mann-Bracken, LLC regarding the Arbitration Award attempt and preceding the arbitration forum’s findings, the defendant contacted the Plaintiff’s attorneys again demanding the presentation of the Cardmembers Agreement and expenditures inclusive to the debt in question. Plaintiff’s continued refusal to provide verification of the alleged debt speaks of fraud. Defendant hereby demands strict proof of the alleged debt.

Defendant hereby challenges the jurisdiction of this court to hear the alleged matter before it.

Whereas, defendant were never service any document for the plaintiff, defendant hereby request the court to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction and improper service.

I ask the court to take Judicial notice to the court of HAINES v. KERNER, ET AL. 404 U.S. 519, 92 S. Ct. 594, 30 L. Ed. 2d 652. pro se , to hold to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers, it appears "beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief.

WHEREFORE, defendant demands presentation of the proper and legally-binding contracts and other appropriate documentation in support of alleged debt as, hence, has not been served to date, in an effort to substantiate the alleged arbitration award

I then received a notice that the court found in their favor. Once I received that letter, I wrote with a "Motion To Dismiss Judgment." In the body of that, I sent the following:

NOW COMES the Plaintiff, Pro Se and prays this Honorable Court to Deny the Defendant's Motion to Dismiss and Motion for Sanction for the following reasons:

1. Relief requested. The defendant moves the court for an order vacating the judgment entered in this action and staying enforcement of the writ of restitution until the motion can be heard.

2. Statement of facts and issues. This motion is based on the following grounds: Lack of due process, lack of personal jurisdiction, and subject matter jurisdiction. The defendant has the right to face his accusers.

Defendant who is unschooled in the law and ask that the court take Judicial Notice of the enunciation of principles as Stated in “Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519,” wherein the court has directed that those who are unschooled in law making pleadings and/or complaints shall have the court look to the substance of the pleadings rather than the form, and also hereby makes the attached memorandum, including the related documents attached herewith, in the above-referenced case.

Furthermore, Defendant hereby requests the judge notify them of any sua sponte, rights or remedies they may overlook.

Furthermore, Defendant ask that the court take Judicial Notice that statements of counsel in Brief or in oral argument are not facts & before the court, only the parties statements made under oath, and the PARTIES pleadings, motions, etc.

Not too sure if that answers your question. But in the end, along with those Certificates of Service things, that's pretty much already I sent to the court. Originally, I had sent a validation letter to the attorneys but - before I found a great site like this - never bothered to use anything other than first class mail. Plus, I never sent it to the big 3 and follow through with it. It did actually shut them up for awhile until I began receiving phone calls daily.

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Sorry to bump, but any suggestions as to how I should proceed with this? Should I try a settlement offer, (initially they sent one before I filed a Notice To Vacate that was $0.80 on the dollar).

Also, since this is technically the attorney for the original creditor, could I hope for some sort of "claus" where they change things to "Paid As Agreed" or even remove the 180 late payments?


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You need to file a "motion to vacate a void judgment".

And bring up all the aribitration lack of notice, lack of due process, failure of agreement to arbitrate, and denial of your rights to a jury trial.

I'll email you a suggested copy of this kind of motion.

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First, thank you for the great info!!! :mrgreen:

Unfortunately, I think I'm still confused, (no surprise there :oops:)

Regarding the situation, if the courts previously denied my motion to vacate judgment, could I still file a "motion to vacate a void judgment"? Sorry, but with all these titles of motions, I'm not sure what I've done and haven't. :dunno:

As for my cash, I'm definitely with you. My account may have only $100 at any given time. Nothing like cash in envelopes! 8-) I'm actually a bit concerned that they may garnish my wages.

In addition to the financial aspect of the judgment, I'm scared about how it's going to effect my credit report when I go for a mortgage in a couple years. :( I was thinking, if I've run out of options, about just settling this spring when I get more money. But if I went that route, I'd love to somehow have them remove the whole "180" tradelines and change it to "Paid As Agreed" in the reports.

The thing that's weird is that there is no information about the judgment on any of my credit reports and they've never contacted me following the denial of my motion to vacate. :confused:

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You could offer settlement in exchange for dismissal on the judgment.

Also wanted to let you know the judgment will expire 7 years from file date not paid off date. So it will come off sooner then you think unless you can get the judgment dismissed by the company.

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Thanks for the replies!

kevin3344, actually I never received anything about a date. When they initially filed the motion to "confirm arbitration" judgment, (or whatever exactly it was), I filed an Intent to Defend. They then filed for a Summary Judgment. To that, I think I wrote something, (not sure what it was called exactly), to say I wanted to be in court - which I really, really didn't want to do. But, they found the judgment in their favor. That's when I wrote that motion to dismiss the judgment. Lastly, I received something from the court denying the motion.

As for the timeline, I thought in my state, (Maryland), it could linger for like 12 years - and be renewed. The actual judgment doesn't appear on my records, but the tradelines continue to show "180". I'm wondering if that won't linger until an action from one side or another is taken. I guess I can gamble and cite the SOL at the end of 7 or 12 years, but in the meantime, it would definitely hurt my chances for a decent mortgage in the next 2-3 years. Plus, couldn't they wait until 6 years and 11 months and begin seizing my stuff? :dunno:

This thing has definitely been a nightmare. The worst thing is that I really don't want to go to court, but could have $2200 more towards the house if I didn't have this hanging over me. :( I guess I'm just trying to see what I can do at this stage to get it entirely off my report. But if there's a legal way I could save $2200 in the process... ;)

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This is where you will need an attorney. If you don't answer the summons specifically, they might (and can) rule against you, no matter what other motion you file. Then again, you might have a point if you weren't informed of a court date. Bottom line is if the court denied your motion, then you are more than likely on the hook for the judgment.

While reading online can get you started in the right direction, it's only to give you an overview of how the system works. In my case I hired a naca atty and while it was costly I wouldn't have won my case without him. He knew all of the time frames, court dates, and just in general how the system works. Everyone in front on me in court lost the day I was there; we were the last ones and the judge ruled in my favor.

Before you take another step or pay anyone I would highly recommend you hire a lawyer to review everything.

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I read everything I can on Mann Bracken because I am also dealing with them. They do have a reputation for filing arbitration cases and never notifying the defendant. I think you should have hired an attorney before you went to court. But that is behind you and you will have a hard time fighting it now. And, hiring an attorney to review everything may cost you more than the judgement. I would suggest that you try to settle with MB.

Even though they have not garnished your wages or bank account, that is the next step. And you will not know about it until after it has been done. If they get your checking account, they may wait for you to deposit a big check and take the money out before you do. That is unless you cash your check and it dows not go through your account. And how will your employer feel if they get a notice garnishing your wages?

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So I think, if I'm understanding all this, I'm either liable for the judgment or could try and see what a lawyer might be able to do - though the judgment has already been handed down and the motion to vacate denied.

Honestly, I'm not too sure how much a lawyer would be, but the one NACA for my area is located a pretty good drive away. Unfortunately, I'm trying to avoid court, (just makes me uncomfortable), and having to miss time from work. Plus, the lawyer fees might not be too bad, but for the stops she would have to pull out, could it be that much less than the $2200 judgment?

I guess now, I'm looking to settle. For the most part, I clear my paycheck out with bills almost immediately and then withdraw the rest in cash. At any given time, there's not much float in my checking account.


If I tried to settle with them knowing they have a judgment, could I realistically dictate some of the terms - like changing it to "Paid as agreed" and having them remove the 180 TL?

Thanks again for all the insight! I wish I knew about these boards when this first happened. :oops:

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Re: settlement, you can try. A judgment is just that. But if they view you as asset poor or hard to attach wages, then maybe they can work something out. My guess is no because they have already put the time & effort in to sue you, which is a major reason they would settle upfront.

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