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Summary Judgement against me despite having lawyer. What to do now?


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I have been dealing with Cavalry since about Nov of last year. To make a long story short, they initiated a suit against me for a MBNA credit card debt of about $8K in a NJ district court. The amount is disputable as I had not used the card for 1.5 years before it got defaulted. But the statement they submitted showed a charge that I did not recognize and I disputed. I decided to go with a lawyer as I found being Pro Se was too much for me to handle given that I was scared. Now I feel I made a mistake as the judge went ahead and granted them a summary judgment against me. I suspect my lawyer did not show up for the hearing and/or did not do anything to oppose the MSJ submitted by the plaintiff. He is not being forthright with me now and says there is not much money for any lawyer to make who takes up my case.

I need to file an appeal. How do I go about it and is it doable as Pro Se? My case is in Superior Court of New Jersey.

What are my options now?

Edited by NJGuy
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I have been dealing with Cavalry since about Nov of last year. To make a long story short, they initiated a suit against me for a MBNA credit card debt of about $8K in a NJ district court. The amount is disputable as I had not used the card for 1.5 years before it got defaulted. But the statement they submitted showed a charge that I did not recognize and I disputed. I decided to go with a lawyer as I found being Pro Se was too much for me to handle given that I was scared. Now I feel I made a mistake as the judge went ahead and granted them a summary judgment against me. I suspect my lawyer did not show up for the hearing and/or did not do anything to oppose the MSJ submitted by the plaintiff. He is not being forthright with me now and says there is not much money for any lawyer to make who takes up my case.

I need to file an appeal. How do I go about it and is it doable as Pro Se? My case is in Superior Court of New Jersey.

What are my options now?

If you hired an Attorney and he was unable to defeat a Cavalry MSJ then I would feel that you have a case whereby your Attorney did not properly represent you. What evidence did Cavalry provide specifically?

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They provided a few credit card monthly statements which either showed I was making payments or the late fee and penalty before the card defaulted. It did not show any purchases made by me, or any purchase receipts signed by me.

Rest of their evidence was unrelated stuff from my credit report showing other credit cards and different addresses listed.

The credit card agreement they provided was from Bank of America which had later taken over MBNA. It was not the original agreement.

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I have been dealing with Cavalry since about Nov of last year. To make a long story short, they initiated a suit against me for a MBNA credit card debt of about $8K in a NJ district court. The amount is disputable as I had not used the card for 1.5 years before it got defaulted. But the statement they submitted showed a charge that I did not recognize and I disputed. I decided to go with a lawyer as I found being Pro Se was too much for me to handle given that I was scared. Now I feel I made a mistake as the judge went ahead and granted them a summary judgment against me. I suspect my lawyer did not show up for the hearing and/or did not do anything to oppose the MSJ submitted by the plaintiff. He is not being forthright with me now and says there is not much money for any lawyer to make who takes up my case.

I need to file an appeal. How do I go about it and is it doable as Pro Se? My case is in Superior Court of New Jersey.

What are my options now?

Wow! You had a poor attorney:evil:. I do not see how you could lose this to a MSJ.

Did you deny the debt or just the amount owed?

Did your lawyer file any Motions?

Did you conduct discovery?

When did this Judgement occur? The date?

Are you willing to go pro se on appeal? Or Motion to Vacate?

There is a lot of information needed to give you pertinent advice, so you will have to stay with this. It is do able pro se.

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Hi Debtfighter,

Thanks for your encouraging words. To respond to your reply -

1. I denied only the amount owed. The credit card was obviously mine. They had a total of 6 CC statements in all. None of which showed any purchase made by me. The statements had my name and address.

2. Yes, my lawyer filed motions and conducted discovery. That's how the above evidence was given by them. When they sued me, I had nothing from from them as they had not sent me any dun letters before suing me.

3. Judgement was given on Apr 29th.

4. Yes, I definitely want to appeal and would like to go Pro Se.

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They did not submit my entire credit report. But pages which showed other credit cards I either held now or had closed previously.

It also showed the different addresses where I had lived. I did not see how that was relevant to the issue for which they had sued.

The report looked recent.

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Sorry I havent responded sooner. I had to think about this. You are in a tough spot since you did not deny the debt. After thinking about it, did they introduce anything showing the interest as provided in the contract? How the interest was calulated? The terms of your acceptance of the agreement to those interest? I doubt they did and that may be enough for you to move for a Motion to Vacate. Need more information.

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No, they did not show any of that. They provided an Affidavit from their Legal Administrator who said she had knowledge of my account and vouched that my debt was correct. Which means nothing as she is from the JDB.

The judge wrote that based on the affidavit and the evidence provided (which was just some CC statements) he was satisfied the debt was mine and awarded the SJ against me.

Edited by NJGuy
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Guest usctrojanalum

Yeah, this is pretty annoying because you can't just do a motion to vacate. You can only vacate default judgments. To vacate a judges written order, you have to appeal. Appeals are not easy, are not cheap, and likely would not lead to a reversal of the judges order.

I honestly think you are right, that affiant does not have knowledge of the debt but this really goes from judge to judge and is not predictable how they are going to rule.

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They did not submit my entire credit report. But pages which showed other credit cards I either held now or had closed previously.

It also showed the different addresses where I had lived. I did not see how that was relevant to the issue for which they had sued.

The report looked recent.

I ran across an interesting read and thought of your situation.

Time may have passed, I do not know your RCP's I am not so sure you cannot file a Motion to Set Aside or Reconsider with the Judge that ruled against you. It certainly isn't past the time to file a complaint against them.

For them to use your CR without your authorization is illegal. Here is what I read, and it may have been updated since:

Creditors report the charge-off balance to Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies such as Experian, Equifax and/or TransUnion, when they report that the account has been charged-off. This information can also be used to verify the charge-off balance, but only if it is accessed under an authorized use as provided in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. §§ 1681-1681t (2003)

Did your Lawyer object to the credit report?

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No, I he did not object to that. I did not know this fact. My lawyer did object their Affidavit and questioned the personal knowledge of the Affiant to the alleged debt as shown in the record.

There was no oral argument granted by the judge. So I wonder if the judge really read through all the paperwork before making the decision.

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No, they did not show any of that. They provided an Affidavit from their Legal Administrator who said she had knowledge of my account and vouched that my debt was correct. Which means nothing as she is from the JDB.

The judge wrote that based on the affidavit and the evidence provided (which was just some CC statements) he was satisfied the debt was mine and awarded the SJ against me.

Did you and your Attorney defend this case at all?? I don't care if the Judge is satisfied the debt is yours, is the Judge satisfied that Cavalry owns the alleged debt?? This judge surely has presided over at least one Cavalry case where the Defendant put up a proper defense and proved that Cavalry had no authenticated evidence that they owned the Defendant's debt. Wow, you better get your money back from your Attorney and petition the Court that you were not properly defended by counsel and further that Cavalry showed zero evidence of owning the debt. Don't tell me about these Judges either. A Judge shouldn't be able to just sit by while a Plaintiff with zero evidence of ownership cons somebody into a Judgment. Sounds like Misprision of Felony on the part of the Judge to me. Fire that Attorney and sue him!! That's why I do stuff on my own.

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