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(3) Surprised Judgments What Are My Options?

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Good Morning Everyone!

Pulled my CR's found (3) judgments against me none in which I received any paperwork. They were filed 2003 $635 (Have NO IDEA who this is) 2005 $3988 (Providian Visa) and 2008 $2895 (a bank I had an account with).

I don't have the money to pay outright but could do a payment plan some type of settlement.

To be honest I really am not sure how to proceed with this portion of my CR. I know that if I want to purchase a home in 2012 I'll have to pay these judgments but to be honest I don't know how to approach this.

BTW: I did contact the courts and was sent the files on two of the judgments one file had a signed copy of my application and a copy of the last statement of my banking account.

The second file for "Providian Visa" just had the judgment and a signed affidavit that "Portfolio Recovery" has acquired the account and was suing me.

Since I don't have the money in a lump sum should I not even contact them?

Or since they have already won a judgment I can't be sued again should I try and work out some type of settlement? Perhaps I could try and have the cases vacated but I'm no longer in the state in which these judgments were filed so I really don't know what might be the best option.

Any advice or guidance would be much appreciated.

Thanks again for your help in advice! :)

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Do you have any idea how you could be sued on three separate occasions and not be aware of either of them?

Go to your clerks office and ask for a copy of the docket entries on each case. See when service was allegedly obtained and ask the clerk to help you locate each proof of service.

After that, you may have some options in terms of how to proceed.

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Do you have any idea how you could be sued on three separate occasions and not be aware of either of them?

Go to your clerks office and ask for a copy of the docket entries on each case. See when service was allegedly obtained and ask the clerk to help you locate each proof of service.

After that, you may have some options in terms of how to proceed.

I lived at the last address for (5) years and the file of the TWO with the TWO judgments for that address states that the notices where POSTED on the front door of the house.

The other judgment was sent to an address I lived at for (3) years however the filed date looks like (1) month after I moved to the address I lived at for (5) years. I haven't gotten that file yet I have to call the other court house on Monday to get that file mailed to me.

I moved from one city to another (still within the state of VA) so perhaps in the move the notice was placed on the old address door that would explain the 2003 Judgment.

The 2005 judgment (NO CLUE) however the 2008 judgment I was about to move out of state the file date is (2) months before I left but I didn't receive any sort of notice I would have remembered that.

BTW: This happened in VA I now live in GA

Thanks

Edited by nyqutie
additional information added...

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Nascar's advice is the very important beginning.

The only other thing I would do is, while you have the weekend and likely can't get to the courthouse today, make sure to thoroughly research your rules of civil procedure to ascertain what constitutes proper service in your state, as well as substitutes service (what they can do if they fail to serve you via the "proper method.")

That way when you get the papers, you will know what to look for as far as "proper service"" is concerned, and if you were indeed properly served.

So sorry about your situation -- been there and done that myself. I know that frustration and anger!

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Nascar's advice is the very important beginning.

The only other thing I would do is, while you have the weekend and likely can't get to the courthouse today, make sure to thoroughly research your rules of civil procedure to ascertain what constitutes proper service in your state, as well as substitutes service (what they can do if they fail to serve you via the "proper method.")

That way when you get the papers, you will know what to look for as far as "proper service"" is concerned, and if you were indeed properly served.

So sorry about your situation -- been there and done that myself. I know that frustration and anger!

Thanks so much for your advice. My only problem is I NO LONGER live in VA I live in GA I was able to get the file I will do what "Nascar" suggested on Monday, but am I limited because I no longer live in the state in which the judgments were filed?

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Thanks so much for your advice. My only problem is I NO LONGER live in VA I live in GA I was able to get the file I will do what "Nascar" suggested on Monday, but am I limited because I no longer live in the state in which the judgments were filed?

Ah, it appears you and I were posting at just about the same time, and I did not see your second post! :oops:

I would still investigate the RCP's for VA. You may be able to set-aside/vacate for lack of service.

ETA: The first two appear as if you were improperly served, and should be able to have the set aside for just cause.

The third, I don't know. Need to know if the "nail and mail" is proper service in VA.

Edited by GH0104

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I no longer live in the state in which the judgments were filed?

Of benefit to you is that your residence in another state is equally inconvenient for the judgment creditor. The judgments may have to be domesticated into Georgia before they can be executed, and depending on Georgia law, the court may not domesticate a default judgment.

If that's the case, the judgment is worthless. If you find this to be the case, you've got some pretty good leverage to settle under your terms.

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Of benefit to you is that your residence in another state is equally inconvenient for the judgment creditor. The judgments may have to be domesticated into Georgia before they can be executed, and depending on Georgia law, the court may not domesticate a default judgment.

If that's the case, the judgment is worthless. If you find this to be the case, you've got some pretty good leverage to settle under your terms.

Thank you very much I will get all of the documentation you suggest and keep you posted.

Thanks again!

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Of benefit to you is that your residence in another state is equally inconvenient for the judgment creditor. The judgments may have to be domesticated into Georgia before they can be executed, and depending on Georgia law, the court may not domesticate a default judgment.

If that's the case, the judgment is worthless. If you find this to be the case, you've got some pretty good leverage to settle under your terms.

The answer to that question lies in the RCP's.

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The answer to that question lies in the RCP's.

This is what I have found!

u00a7 8.01-296. Manner of serving process upon natural persons. In any action at law or in equity or any other civil proceeding in any court, process, for which no particular mode of service is prescribed, may be served upon natural persons as follows:

* By delivering a copy thereof in writing to the party in person; or

* By substituted service in the following manner:

1. If the party to be served is not found at his usual place of abode, by delivering a copy of such process and giving information of its purport to any person found there, who is a member of his family, other than a temporary sojourner or guest, and who is of the age of sixteen years or older; or

2. 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 and thereafter files in the office of the clerk of the court a certificate of such mailing.

In any civil action brought in a general district court, the mailing of the application for a warrant in debt or affidavit for summons in unlawful detainer or other civil pleading or a copy of such pleading, whether yet issued by the court or not, which contains the date, time and place of the return, prior to or after filing such pleading in the general district court, shall satisfy the mailing requirements of this section.

In any civil action brought in a circuit court, the mailing of a copy of the pleadings with a notice that the proceedings are pending in the court indicated and that upon the expiration of ten days after the giving of the notice and the expiration of the statutory period within which to respond, without further notice, the entry of a judgment by default as prayed for in the pleadings may be requested, shall satisfy the mailing requirements of this section and any notice requirement of the Rules of Court.

Any judgment by default entered after July 1, 1989, upon posted service in which proceedings a copy of the pleadings was mailed as provided for in this section prior to July 1, 1989, is validated.

3. The person executing such service shall note the manner and the date of such service on the original and the copy of the process so delivered or posted under subdivision 2 and shall effect the return of process as provided in \u00a7\u00a7 8.01-294 and 8.01-325.

Am I understanding this correctly that if no person is found to provide the summons to, and if it is placed on the door a summons should also be sent via the mail just in case to assure delivery and proof of that needs to be filed with the courts?

Thanks again!

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Yes, from what I see here, that it correct.

Just be sure the rule applies specifically to the court in which the judgment was filed. I only say that because NJ has different levels of civil court, and different RCP's apply to them -- of course, VA is probably not as screwed up as NJ! :p

Anyhow, I digress...

You may challenge domestication of judgment on grounds of improper service, should they bother attempting such action. You may also have open a jurisdictional question if you were not resident of VA when suit was filed that could be brought up in the Opposition to Domestication motion.

If you were still in VA, there is the service issue you can raise. If you were not in VA when the suits were intiated, VA did not hold personal jurisdiction.

You can raise that in the Domestication phase and could well win on that point.

Just be sure you have good evidence that the service was flawed and/or that you could not be aware of the suit when it was adjudicated -- in other words, solid proof you resided elsewhere when the alleged service took place.

Then, as Nascar pointed out, the judgment creditor could likely be stuck with a judgment that they cannot enforce.

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the 2003 judgment, you have a slim to 0 chance of getting that judgment vacated. google the "doctrine of laches" to see what I'm talking about.

Also, I would not be worried about the judgment being domesticated in GA. The judgments are old now and they are not likely to spend any addtional expenses in trying to pursue it. If you are truly going to buy a house in 2 years, you are going to have to deal with them then.

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the 2003 judgment, you have a slim to 0 chance of getting that judgment vacated. google the "doctrine of laches" to see what I'm talking about.

Also, I would not be worried about the judgment being domesticated in GA. The judgments are old now and they are not likely to spend any additional expenses in trying to pursue it. If you are truly going to buy a house in 2 years, you are going to have to deal with them then.

That you for the additional information. I realize I will more then likely have to pay the judgments and I'm prepared for that. However, I know that I wasn't properly severed and didn't until recently see that I even had judgments.

I am looking for a way to simply pay the creditors but not have that damn judgment on my report if at all possible. My problem is I'm not sure how to approach them since I haven't heard a word since the judgments and that has been 7 years for one and 5 five years for another.

Calling the court house today to get the additional information the other posters recommended.

Thanks to you all for your help!

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well the judgment from 2003 is going to fall off your credit soon, so that is another reason I would not worry about that one.

You are right I called the courts this morning and she said not to worry either I just need to tackle the other two.

Thanks Again!

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You are right I called the courts this morning and she said not to worry either I just need to tackle the other two.

Thanks Again!

So the "doctrine of laches" meant nothing in regards to the 2003 judgment. Good, because I could never see how "laches" could make a void judgment legitimate.

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Should study the law a little more thoroughly then.

That's a flaw in the law. Illegitimate should never be made legitimate due to time.

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Sure it can be. You can't have a judgment entered against you for 7+ years and then out of nowhere say but wait "I was never served on that day in 2003!!!" Process servers do not maintain their records for more than 5-7 years, so you can't try and contest service 8 years from now. One may have had a legitimate claim at one point to getting the judgment vacated but when that much time passes there is nothing you can do. Laches.

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sorry man, but i had a 2001 default judgment that i successfully vacated last month. im in ny though and i did my research before going to court and i was prepared.

ive also vacated a 2003 judgment twice and a 2004 judgment. 4 in total and in all 4 im looking to win in court. the plaintiff attorney told the judge that this is so old they wont be able to get records from the process server. i told both of them that this was not my problem and service should have been correct to begin with otherwise we wouldn't have this problem. judge agreed and vacated in one case.

im new at this, but google scholar has helped me win my hearings

http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=18120635307266282500&hl=en&as_sdt=8000000002

http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=11609998049766226009&hl=en&as_sdt=8000000002

the only thing i would say, from one noob to any other noob out there looking to do this without an attorney you must know your rules of procedure down cold. if you're going to vacate a default judgment, know the procedure for service, and google case law for each method of service, and take a few weeks doing your research. because right now the monster is asleep. its the best time to lay down your assault. once you poke that monster, you gotta have ammunition ready

whatever you decide, i wish you luck.

but remember, a judgment is probably renewable, it may be best to just lay silent for another few years and let it expire as someone said

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Thanks for your input! I have been gathering all of the information from the courts and I am prepared to pay in full if necessary; however if there is a possibility of getting the judgments vacated and removed from my credit file for payment in full I'll go that route.

My purpose is to get these judgments removed so that I can purchase a home in 2012 and if these judgments can be renewed and they can I don't want them falling off my report and getting renewed and popping back up.

So all advice I've received have been helpful and I'll keep you all posted on what happens in the coming months.

Thanks Again!

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So much for the Doctrine of Laches, yeah I knew there was no way Laches could make something illegitimate, legitimate if you fought it properly. Due process of law cannot be usurped.

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sorry man, but i had a 2001 default judgment that i successfully vacated last month. im in ny though and i did my research before going to court and i was prepared.

You've mentioned before that your judgments were vacated on consent, not the same at all.

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