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Missed the "45 day answer period" a default J is on the way can i file a motion?


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Hello there...

first i've read through the thread there-lawyer-house/313112-all-inclusive-ive-been-sued-contacted-midland-whats-next-help-me.h-t-m-l and still do not have my answer

State - GA

Debt - Credit Card

Plaintiff - Midland

Attorney - not sure the court gave me some random name that i didnt find info for

summons served - over 45 days ago / less than 90 days ago

Amount - Less than $2,000 more than $1,000

First date account went into negative /default status / last time paid - over 5 years ago less than 5.5

I've been living out of the state for a few months and was gone at the time the summons was served to a family member who never told me about the summons because she had no way to contact me ... I just recently moved back to the state and got an advertisement from a BK lawyer saying Midland has filed a suit against me so i called the magistrate court and was informed that yes there was a filing and i've missed the answer period...

I spoke to the clerk and she said that the case is in line for a default judgment but may be scheduled with a trial date because she has yet to receive any "documents" from midland to support their case... she says the earliest they will get a trial date is August... She suggested that i call midland to try to work something out or contact an Attorney who may know of a motion i can file...

So it seems as though i am in limbo ... the default judgement is "on the way" but has yet to be granted... what can i do? I contacted a lawyer and they told me not to contact Midland and that their fees would be less than the cost of paying off the debt in full.... I dont want to waist my time and money with an attorney if i have to just pay the judgment off anyway... I DO NOT want this on my credit report. If i have to, i will pay the money but not if its going to go on my credit as a judgement anyway!

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My uneducated, layman's reaction is that you want to file an Answer, even though it's late, and you'll need to include the reason (out of state, out of contact, didn't receive the papers, etc.)

Your situation is somewhat unique, and you may require help that is beyond the experience of our forum members.

So I suggest talking to another lawyer. I don't know how you found the one you talked to, but try the lawyer locator feature at:

National Association of Consumer Advocates | Consumer Protection Advocates and Attorneys - Help for Consumers

Try to find one who will provide an initial consultation for free or cheaply. Maybe hire one just to help you get this initial paperwork in.

Good luck.

DH

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Thank you debtorshusband !

I did ask the clerk if i could file an answer and she told me the court would not accept it. I looked up the GA law and it really leaves no wiggle room for answer time :( ... My experience with "good" attorneys is that they are really busy and you have to call and wait... So i will take your advice in contacting other attorneys and see who is the best and quickest to respond... i am just nervous about this getting on my credit report as a judgement cause its such a heavy hit and it will be on there another 7 years! :( if i have to i will pay midland... i am going to go to the court and get the case file and forward it to a couple of attorneys ... thanks for the tips...

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i am going to go to the court and get the case file and forward it to a couple of attorneys

I neglected to say this part, but should have. Good thinking.

A couple other thoughts. Don't put too much weight on what the clerk said. My understanding is that judges would rather have the case decided on the merits than issue a default judgment.

Perhaps what you need to file, even before they file for a default judgment, is a Motion in Opposition to Default Judgment. Again, you would explain why you didn't Answer in time, and request the judge to deny the default judgment and permit you to file an Answer.

If you do end up deciding to "pay Midland" (but I hope you don't), negotiate the best deal you can, don't just pay what they're asking. Get the agreement in writing.

Good luck.

DH

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thanks again debtorshusband !

great tip to file that particular motion, i will ask the attorneys about it... I'm just thinking that i would "pay midland as opposed to paying more in lawyer fees... I will most certainly try the attorney route first... But if that fails and if i do want to pay this JDB should i ask them to "vacate" the judgement and delete it off my credit file and agree to never report the CBs? and dont call but send certified mail?

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thanks for your reply usagi555 .

Indeed i was never notified of the summons, i have SOLID proof that i was in a different state. on the date the summons was served, I was in the other state, at the hospital being treated for emergency care. I never got the summons myself and was never notified... but in GA it doenst matter as long as the summons was served to someone over 15 or 18 ... I will also look into the motion to quash... thanks so much!

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