chuckd

$15K judgment, never served, long post but I really need help/advice plz!

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First of all, thanks for reading and taking the time to help with my situation. I've cross posted this to a few different sites of this type, so apologies in advance if you see this more than once.

Long story short, I have a judgment against me from 2007 for about $15k now. I say "about" because the actual judgment is not on my experian or equifax reports (sort of, I'll get to that in a minute). This figure is based off a phone conversation that I had with the law firm attempting to enforce this judgment. The law firm is Weltman, Weinberg and Reis. Based on the posts I've found by searching forums such as this, I've found that they're somewhat well-known for being shady. They never properly served me, or at least I should say that I never saw any sort of paperwork regarding a lawsuit, so they got a default judgment against me.

This is actually a combination of 2 accounts from the same credit union. One was a car loan (voluntary repo) for around $5500 (after sale) and the other an unsecured personal loan for around $4500. They filed one suit for the entire amount of both loans, and got a judgment with an interest rate of 8%. In 2008, they found a bank account I had and took every last penny (about $1k total). Knowing that I owed the money but not aware I had a judgment against me, I found the case on my county clerk website and got their number. I called WW&R, as they were listed on the court case, and offered to make some kind of arrangements or settlement offer. They offered a settlement of 85%, which was about $11K at that time, or I could make a down payment of $2K and make payments of about $600 a month until it was paid off (which would be about 2 years). Needless to say none of these options were financially feasible for me at that time. Also, I have not had a bank account since that time, for fear of this happening again.

I made a grand total of $10,400 in 2009, but started a decent paying job (little less than $50k a year) in December. Now that I finally have money available to file bankruptcy (what I thought was my only solution), the lawyer I went to see said that I make too much money compared to my overall debt (I have about $25k total in debt, and the repo was the only secured debt). How ironic, I finally have the money to file, and I make too much money to file. He suggested a chapter 13, which is less than ideal for me, but not something I'm *totally* opposed to (though I will admit the length of time involved is daunting). Also, I should note that most of my other bad debt will be falling off my reports in 2011/2012 (assuming none of the CAs try to re-age it, which I'm prepared to deal with). Basically I was planning on filing a chapter 7 bk mainly because of this one debt, just so that it would be done and over.

So what are my best options here? Should I just do a chapter 13 bk and be done with it? 3 years seems like such a long time, and my 15 year old car could use to be replaced with some sort of model from this decade, so I'm worried I won't be able to get even a small car loan while in ch13 BK. I feel as though there may be grounds to fight the judgment, but it's been a long time since it was entered and I did not have the resources to fight it then (or even know it existed).

I really appreciate your suggestions and help. Thanks again for reading. If you need any more information, feel free to PM me and if you have been a member here for awhile I'll be happy to send you the URL to the case on the county clerk's website.

- Dan

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Also, I noticed today that the address on the case is wrong (106 vs 103 street address). Given this, I can file for a motion to vacate based on improper service, right? If I can do that, will that void the 8% interest they've been collecting for the last 2 years that was part of the judgment? Not sure what my next move would be, assuming I am able to get the judgment vacated.

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Also, I noticed today that the address on the case is wrong (106 vs 103 street address). Given this, I can file for a motion to vacate based on improper service, right? .

Yes.

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