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Can I be sued without notification?


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To get a judgment, they have to sue you in court. You would have to be served a summons.

You would get an opportunity to fight them in court.

Unless, they use the sleazy process known as sewer service. But you can fight that too.

There is a good legal section here at CIC. You need to start studying it.

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How exactly does sewer service work? I had a creditor (years ago, matter already resolved, just making sure I know better for the future!) who got a judgment against me, never having sent me a single letter, and I was not served, although I' d been at the same address, which was current on all 3 CRAs for 7 years. Needless to say, I was shocked when I learned there was a judgment against me!

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For California you can be served in the following ways:

1. Personal service - give the lawsuit to you directly;

2. Substituted service - serve your last known address by giving summons to an adult over 18 and sending via first class mail

3. Service by publication - if #1 and #2 fail, the plaintiff has to petition the court to serve by publication - meaning they will print the suit in the local paper for 4 consecutive weeks and deem you served.

In order to find out what happened, get a copy of the case file and look for proof of service.

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Plaintiff can tell the court you are avoiding service,Court agrees case moves forward without you,Then they win a default judgement.Then they file for aid in execution hearing.Then you come to cic and wonder what happened.Its that simple.Limited action cases are designed to be a quick way to recover for goods,services,money.

Edited by racecar
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How exactly does sewer service work? I had a creditor (years ago, matter already resolved, just making sure I know better for the future!) who got a judgment against me, never having sent me a single letter, and I was not served, although I' d been at the same address, which was current on all 3 CRAs for 7 years. Needless to say, I was shocked when I learned there was a judgment against me!

I got this from the web:

"When a debt collection agency files a lawsuit against you for an outstanding debt, it must serve you with the papers so that you are aware of the action. However, one New York agency allegedly didn’t think that was necessary and provided debtors with “sewer service” instead. Now it faces a class action lawsuit for those debt collection practices.

What Is Sewer Service?

Sewer service is a practice in which process servers, the people who are supposed to serve you with a lawsuit, simply dump the papers into the sewer – and then claim that they served you personally. Unfortunately for debtors, if you don’t get the notice, you can’t respond to the allegations and a judgment will be against you."

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  • 1 month later...

I was sent a Summons and Complaint last year.

I answered but I also countered with Improper Service, among other discrepancies. The server had left the Summons at a private mailbox in my local UPS store, where I have a mailbox and have mail delivered. Mind you, it was not *mailed* but just brought there and given to the clerk (a high school kid) to put in my box, in an unsealed envelope. And it was marked on the Affidavit as "Personal Service"... it obviously was not.

Spotlight, how about a little more information. That's the only way people can help you.

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From my experience in some states they can sue without proper service and it appears to be legal. Trying to fight this currently, but under VA law if the defendant lives out of state the plaintiff can mail a letter to the last known good address and show that in court and say it was done in good faith. Wham bam default judgment. Even if the plaintiff KNEW for a fact you had moved and where/how to get in touch with you they can claim they didn't and the court doesn't know/care any better. They don't even have to go through multiple steps/attempts. One letter mailed to old address and they won. Case was filed on march 24th 2009, they had their default judgment on May 16th 2009. I didn't even find out until it finally popped up on my credit reports in mid 2011.

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From my experience in some states they can sue without proper service and it appears to be legal. Trying to fight this currently, but under VA law if the defendant lives out of state the plaintiff can mail a letter to the last known good address and show that in court and say it was done in good faith. Wham bam default judgment. Even if the plaintiff KNEW for a fact you had moved and where/how to get in touch with you they can claim they didn't and the court doesn't know/care any better. They don't even have to go through multiple steps/attempts. One letter mailed to old address and they won. Case was filed on march 24th 2009, they had their default judgment on May 16th 2009. I didn't even find out until it finally popped up on my credit reports in mid 2011.

I smell a rat... and it ain't pretty.

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I agree it ain't pretty. Been trying to find a lawyer in VA that will 1. take the case and 2. I can actually afford to pay. Hasn't been easy. No way I can take off to go there and fight it, which is what the clerk at the courthouse suggested. VA law is VERY much in favor of the debtee, not the consumer. Even more so when it's an out of state matter such as mine. Learned the hard way never sign a contract with choice of venue, jurisdiction, and law provisions. If they have that crap, it's for a damn good reason and they will get you with it. I spoke with several people with the court...this company does a lot of these but they pay their bills to the court and cross their T and dot their I's so to speak, so the court has no problem with them. Granted what they claim I owe is BS, their business practices border illegal (actually they are operating illegally in at least one state) but they use VA's laws to protect their sorry butts and work people over good.

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