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Notice To Judgment Debtor From Midland Ohio


SugeKilledEazy
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I am in Ohio, So I've read a few conflicting reports about SOL, some say 8 years, some say as much as 15.

I believe this is from a credit card from JC Penny in 2007, probably defaulted in 2008. The amount was around $800 then, the judgment is for $1328

The attorneys for them: Kimberly Klemenok, Nevenka Pavlovic and Martin Bunce

I opened a secured credit card after paying off the debt that showed up on my credit report, I don't believe I have financial proof of the 400 some odd dollars that I paid then, but this probably isn't related to that anyway.

 

So I had bad credit and have been fixing it these past few years. I went through my credit report and paid what was on there, I thought the others fell off. I now have a secured credit card at my local credit union, and it seemed yesterday that everything was looking good. Today in the mail I received a letter from the court called Notice to Judgment Debtor.

It seems that there was a judgment against me in Feb of 2014. I never received any notice to appear, they either didn't really send it, or I didn't get it, or I just didn't know who they were or that I owed them money. The paper I received today says 'if you dispute the judgment creditor's right to garnish your property and believe that the creditor should not be given your money, property or credit, other than personal earnings, you may request a hearing before this court' it goes on to say the same thing a few times and at the end it says 'no objections to the judgment itself will be heard or considered at the hearing.' It also says  'the hearing will be limited to a consideration of the amount of your money, property, or credits, other than personal earnings in the possession or control of the garnishee, if any, that can be used to satisfy all of part of the judgment against you.'


Is it possible to have a judgment reversed? Is it too late for me? I am not totally opposed to paying them, but my main concern is my credit, and where was this while I have been paying off debt for the past 18 months? Why is this just popping up now? Any tips for negotiating while I am at this hearing? I don't suppose that I am opposed to paying them some money, I just don't have this amount ready to pay off a debt I didn't even know existed. I make about $800 a month, my wife makes around $1000, and we have two kids, this is a substantial amount of money. I would be willing to settle this for half of what they are wanting, especially since I was actively paying down my debt at the time of this supposed court case. It wouldn't ruin me to pay it, it would just take every penny of my tax return. 

Thanks for taking your time out to read this. If there is any more info you need, please let me know.

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6 hours ago, SugeKilledEazy said:

Is it possible to have a judgment reversed? Is it too late for me?

Yes, it is possible to have it reversed.   First thing you need copies of EVERYTHING in the case file including when/where you were allegedly served notice of this suit. 

You also need to move quickly because they are making moves to garnish your wages and levy your bank accounts.  You may need the services of a consumer attorney to halt this.  Go to Consumer Lawyers to find one near you.  Most if not all will do a first consult for free.

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Clydesmom is right on the money, and time is a luxury you do not have at this point.  One thing to note, since they are adamant that they will not entertain ANY challenge to the judgment at such a hearing, you will have to take separate action if you wish to put a stop to this.  As CM said, get a copy of everything in that lawsuit.  You can go to the court clerk's office, or in some places you can search this online.  My local court clerk charges $1 per page for copies of court records, yours might do something similar.  Even if you dont have the extra money to get a copy of every document, some court clerks will allow you to review the file at their office.  Mine has done that for me before.  I suggest at the very least that you get a coy of every document that relates to their claim that you were duly served the summons.  I wont be surprised at all if you discover that they claimed to have served you personally at an address you either never lived at, or at an old address that you did not live at at that time.  I would also recommend getting a copy of the original complaint that they filed, if you cannot get a copy of all the docs at this time.

 

Was this done in the county where you lived at that time?  If not, there may be another cause of action for you there.  The longer you wait on this, the more likely it will be that you will find your wages garnished.  Ohio Civil Rule 60(b) details vacating a judgment.  However, something you should be aware of is that courts often restart the case from the beginning in a situation like this.  Sometimes the court dismisses the case altogether, and if that happens, you will be in a good spot because SOL is 6 years from what I've found for a credit card account.  If the judge dismisses it, it's as though the 2014 lawsuit never happened, and the clock will have run out.  As I said though, courts often do not dismiss and just start over from the beginning...and since they filed in 2014, the SOL clock has been suspended this whole time.  Now, depending on when in 2014 they filed suit, it's also possible that the SOL was passed when they filed, but you will know more about that when you get copies of the lawsuit docs.  I'm sorry to throw this extra stuff at you, the first thing to do is get copies of the documents and we can go from there.

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Thank you guys for the replies. I looked into this and it seems they sent it certified mail and I did sign for it, my wife was having complications with pregnancy and I didn't have a job so I didn't go.  A lawyer called me back today and he said that I don't have much of a case, but for 400$ he could try to have them settle for 800$, which would save me 100$. I am considering just paying it and moving on so that I don't mark my credit up, I did actually spend the money and I even still have a coat that I purchased with it.

 

I think I would feel really bad trying to not pay anything, even though I feel like they are asking for way more than I used, I feel like paying is the right thing to do, for my self and for my credit.  If I fight it I'm scared it might keep popping its head up, do you know if I pay this, is it over for good and I'm done with them? I just want to leave this situation with good credit still, instead of a new collections on my record.

The main worry for me is if this will make me look bad to the bank that I may potentially be asking for a loan from in the near future. Is there any chance that these sorts of things will pop back on credit even if they have fallen off? Thank god this came up at a time when I just filled out my tax returns, I also already had planned to spend the money since I was actively trying to pay this in the past year, but thought I lucked out due to it falling off.

 

Thank you guys so much for responding.

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2 hours ago, SugeKilledEazy said:

I think I would feel really bad trying to not pay anything, even though I feel like they are asking for way more than I used,

The reason the amount is more is because there is court fees, attorney fees, and now a couple of years of post judgment interest.  Given that OH has a 20 year SOL on collecting on judgments and they can be renewed I would recommend settling this before it gets even more costly given that you were properly served and didn't attend the trial.  

I would offer them a lump sum payment of $1000 and see if they will take it.  My guess is they will but before you pay get the agreement in writing.  Once you have all the terms in writing THEN pay by money order.  Under no circumstances do you give them bank account information.

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