Credit Infocenter

Never Notified of Court and Now I Have a Judgment

December 20th, 2011 · 2 Comments · I'm being sued!

by Kristy Welsh

(Last Updated On: December 20, 2011)

Q. I was given a default judgement because I didn’t show up to court. In fact, I was never notified that I needed to do this. Supposedly a law firm was representing Discover Card for non-payment on a credit card.

I am attempting to get the judgement set aside because I was never notified of an impending court date. How do I find out whether the attorney is really representing Discover Credit card, or whether he is essentially a Junk Debt Buyer. This would obviously effect if I was to request a letter requesting debt validation.

A. Whoa there partner, it’s too late to send a debt validation request. It’s also not very important whether or not the company who sued you is a junk debt buyer. You have a judgment against you and the only course of action is for you to file a motion to vacate, since you were not notified of the court date. This is called improper service.

However, in order to file you need to gather a few facts together.

  • When was the judgment granted? Depending on your state, you typically only have one year or less from the date the judgment was granted to file your motion. You didn’t say what state you were in, so it’s hard for me to tell you definitively whether or not it is still possible to file.
  • In addition to the above two points, you need to know what the proper method for service is necessary for your state. You can find out the proper method of service in our free process server by state chart.

If you follow our guide, you should have no problem filing a motion to vacate on your own, but you still might consider consulting with an attorney. In legal matters, this is always a good idea.

The good news – if you were not served properly and you still have time to file, it should be pretty easy to get this judgment overturned through a motion to vacate. We have complete information on filing a motion to vacate on our website.

Tags: ·····

2 Comments so far ↓

  • Marci

    Procedural rules require that a proof of service as authorized by statute must be filed with the court prior to a court making a ruling. If there was no proof of service in the court file, it is most doubtful that the court would grant a default judgment.
    Sounds like you were served with the lawsuit and you failed to respond within the time required as stated in the summons.
    Suggest you go to the courthouse and take a look at the court file before you take your time and energy to argue with the judgement. For your own benefit, you might want to make a chart of the timeline of the filings and court actions.
    You might still be able to work out some deal with the creditor …depends on the creditor. Suggest you be very polite and contrite if younwant them to be cooperative.

  • Derek

    As a fellow credit counselor and co founder of an NFCC qualified accredited agency – Get this point right now- For the most part, they only have to prove the debt is yours. Sadly, unless you up for a long battle that will probably cost you more in legal advice to fight whether you were served properly to get this vacated – I wish you luck – My final advice advice- you can settle for less than the full balance and also set up a payment with the owner of the debt- This however doesn’t sound like your first brush with a past due debt, so why the over concern for your credit score that will recover. And, if you couldn’t honor a Discover debt, please spare us on how you need a mortgage in the next 12 months, cause it aint happin’ even if you were only 30 days late. You’re still a debtor. In fact, welcome to the party… credit card charge off’s are tens of billions a month. Jim Steele

Leave a Comment