How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Law Pro Your Own Question

Law Pro
Law Pro, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 24419
Experience:  20 years experience in consumer advocacy, debt collection violations, contracts, construction
11688690
Type Your Consumer Protection Law Question Here...
Law Pro is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have a question about a judgement that just showed up on

Resolved Question:

I have a question about a judgement that just showed up on my credit report for the first time, It was filed 61 months ago to the day and is just now showing up. What can I do, I have no idea about it, or who it may be.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.

Welcome to JustAnswer! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete excellent answer for you.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm going to assist you with your question.

Please bear with me if you believe my answer isn’t coming fast enough because I’m also working with other customers too. I apologize for any seemingly late response.


Sorry for your situation.

Where does the judgment derive from - what state, county, and court?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

location is Jasper Alabama, Walker county Circuit court. CR just list the plaintiff and the amount.

Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
You live in AL too - correct?

How near that courhouse do you live?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes I live in Alabama. Im about 45 minutes away from that court. I live in the next county over. I did live in Walker County the date the CR is showing the suit was filed.

Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
Sometimes judgments are filed incorrectly against the wrong person OR the credit reporting agency is incorrectly reporting it against you.

What I would do is go over and see where this judgment came from and see if it's correctly reported on you.


I don't know your name - but if a common name like XXXXX XXXXX - and no middle initial is used - many time judgments or negative credit ratings go against someone wrongfully.

So, if you find that the judgment is being incorrectly reported against you - then you can contact the 3 credit reporting agencies to remove that from your credit report.

Now if it's being correctly reported against you.

Then your next issue is what it's about. You potentially can have a default judgment stricken if you weren't given notice of something correctly. But you have to find out what the underlying judgment was all about and what happened.

Alabama statute of limitations for breach of contract is 6 years.

A statute of limitations is a law which places a time limit on pursuing a legal remedy in relation to wrongful conduct. After the expiration of the statutory period, unless a legal exception applies, the injured person loses the right to file a lawsuit seeking money damages or other relief.

I'm only guessing because I have no idea what the judgment is about - but it could be an old credit card debt or something. Some of the collection companies are completely nuts and wrong when they file suit and get a default judgment.

But I'm only guessing and have no idea where or how the judgment got there. Your only alternative is to find out - then go from there.


Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which will be helpful to you. If I have not fully addressed your questions or if you have any follow up questions, or if I have misinterpreted your questions in any way, please do not rate me yet, but simply ask a follow up question without rating so I can provide you with a fully satisfactory answer. If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service with 3, 4, or 5 faces so I can receive credit for helping you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!

If you have any questions, about this or anything else, please ask for me, Law Pro, directly in the question and I will try to assist you as best I can.

For example, you would state, "This question is for Law Pro . . . (then on with your question).
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I really don't have any experience with the courts. Who should I talk to at the court house to get the case information?


 


And yes I am going to try to fight this, but I will need an atty. Question is what type of atty would I need to ask for help?

Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
Court clerk - go to the judgments index and find your name and the case. Then go to the case file and ask to see it.

You are entitled to review the case file - anyone is - it's a public record.

Too, regardless if it's you or someone else - you may want to make copies of the file so that you have a record of such. You can make copies too of the file - they charge anywhere from 25 to 50 cents per page.

Regardless if or if not you - I would make a copy of the file so that you can either challenge the judgment OR notice the credit reporting companies they are wrongfully reporting the judgment against you.

Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which will be helpful to you. If I have not fully addressed your questions or if you have any follow up questions, or if I have misinterpreted your questions in any way, please do not rate me yet, but simply ask a follow up question without rating so I can provide you with a fully satisfactory answer. If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service with 3, 4, or 5 faces so I can receive credit for helping you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!

If you have any questions, about this or anything else, please ask for me, Law Pro, directly in the question and I will try to assist you as best I can.

For example, you would state, "This question is for Law Pro . . . (then on with your question).
Law Pro, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 24419
Experience: 20 years experience in consumer advocacy, debt collection violations, contracts, construction
Law Pro and 9 other Consumer Protection Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Just found out some more information on this judgement.


I called the court clerk, a default judgement was entered against me on June 3, 2008.


In the case file they have a copy of the signed summons, it was not signed by me, it was signed by my ex girl friend, and we were split up at the time she signed for it.


She moved to Ohio in the same time period. she and I were not talking when this took place and have only spoken a few times since.


Long story short do you think I have a chance at challenging this? I think I could even get her to sign a statement saying she did not let me know of this.

Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
Absolutely you can challenge this. In fact, their service and her not informing you about such was obviously based on animosity and anger.

You can file a motion to open/strike the judgment.

You have to say that you weren't served and she didn't reside with you at the time but wrongfully accepted service OR didn't have the option but was handed the documents and didn't notice you of such.

You have to state how you just found out and how you found out.

That immediately upon learning of the default judgment you are now asking to open/strike such.

That you have a complete defense to the complaint.

You also have to attach your answer to their complaint as an attachment as to what you would have responded if given the opportunity.



Customer: replied 1 year ago.

So you do think I will need to get her to sign something. she lives in Ohio, we talk on facebook sometimes, she is not mad at me now.


 


Myself, having limited experience with legal matters, would you advise me to hire an attorney to take care of this before I do anything. Or should I go to the courthouse Monday morning and fill out a motion to vacate based on this information?


 


I don't want to make matters worse by saying something I shouldn't. But I do know that I have to get things started right away. Like I told you before it has already been 61 months since the judgement was filed. I find it very odd that it has never shown on my credit report until today. I can prove that as well. I happen to have a copy of all three credit reports from two days ago.


 


I have no Idea why they have never tried to collect, I have bank accounts, been at the same address for the last 4 years, and the same job for the past 7 years.


 


Thanks for any advice you can give me. The judgement amount is fairly large and I feel certain they will hit me for interest when they try to collect.

Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
No, she doesn't have to be involved - she was not then nor now a family member.

Was there even a debt? Do you know anything about the debt?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I did default on some credit cards in early 2006, yes I had some charge offs. I do not remember having a debt of the amount that is listed in the judgement. I just know that Arrow financial was the plaintiff.


 


The court clerk said "well someone named XXXXX signed it, and said she was your girlfriend, so thats all they needed"


I am praying that statement is not true.

Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
Well pursuant to Alabama's rules of civil procedure:

(c) Upon whom process served. Service of process, except service by
publication as provided in Rule 4.3, shall be made as follows:
(1) INDIVIDUAL. Upon an individual, other than a minor or an incompetent
person, by serving the individual or by leaving a copy of the summons and the
complaint at the individual's dwelling house or usual place of abode with some
person of suitable age and discretion then residing therein
or by delivering a copy of the summons and the complaint to an agent authorized by appointment or by
law to receive service of process;


So the question is - did she reside there at the time she accepted service of process on your behalf?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

No, she did not. In fact she never lived at my address.

Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
Then, clearly, pursuant to AL's rules of civil procedure - they did NOT perfect service of process upon you.

As such, that default judgment must be vacated.

What would be nice to attach to the motion to strike is - an affidavit from her stating that she never resided there AND proof of where she did reside (something like a tax return or something - some formal document - everything else can be "blackened out").

Then this is simple and the court will vacate the default against you - this is a constitutional due process and notice issue.



Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for all of the advice. You have been very helpful. I have just a couple quick questions for you on this matter before I act.


 


1. Do I consult/hire an attorney before I do anything, or do I get the ball rolling Monday morning myself? I am unsure if this is a complicated process or if it is something I can handle myself. I have never been inside a court room!!!


 


2. If yes to attorney, what field of law should he or she excel in?


 


3. The county/city this case is in is a rural setting. Meaning most of the lawyers and judges are best friends and have breakfast together every morning. So the good ole boy system applies here. My question would be, should I look for a lawyer outside the County and system, or stick with one who parties with the judges that will be hearing my case?


 


 


Thank you very much for your help.

Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
Sorry. I'm off and on from 5 pm EST with some family obligations.

However, what is the judgment amount?

We'll get this resolved but I won't be back till tomorrow. Sorry.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I understand.


The amount is 9600, plus the past 5 years of interest they were awarded


 


Also I just found out the company that sued me in 2008 went out of business in 2012. might be to my advantage.

Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.

1. Do I consult/hire an attorney before I do anything, or do I get the ball rolling Monday morning myself? I am unsure if this is a complicated process or if it is something I can handle myself. I have never been inside a court room!!!



Regretfully, since you have no experience and it will take drafting of the motion, serving it on the other party, scheduling a hearing before the court, etc. - I think it would be best if you retained an attorney.

2. If yes to attorney, what field of law should he or she excel in?


Contract law or consumer protection law - a general practitioner would be fine.

 


3. The county/city this case is in is a rural setting. Meaning most of the lawyers and judges are best friends and have breakfast together every morning. So the good ole boy system applies here. My question would be, should I look for a lawyer outside the County and system, or stick with one who parties with the judges that will be hearing my case?


I think this a fairly simple and straight forward constitutional issue. Local counsel would be fine.

 

 

The amount is 9600, plus the past 5 years of interest they were awarded

 

 

Then it's well over $10k by now.


Also I just found out the company that sued me in 2008 went out of business in 2012. might be to my advantage

 

 

That might be an advantage because they have to show the contract and statements to validate or show the amount owed.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi, Just saw that you answered this on Saturday, didn't expect you to respond till today.


 


I have contacted a couple different law firms this morning, waiting on responses from them.


 


I will be able to get a signed affidavit from the person who signed saying they did not live at that address. I also have a few other documents to back this up.


 


I will let you know how this turns out. Again, thank you for your advice.


 


 

Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
Yes, I am interested as to what happens. Let me know! Thanks for the update.

I don't think you should have a problem void the judgment given the facts you stated.
Law Pro, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 24419
Experience: 20 years experience in consumer advocacy, debt collection violations, contracts, construction
Law Pro and 9 other Consumer Protection Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Infolawyer

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    5518
    Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/NY/nyclawyer/2012-6-7_22011_photo66139201112041.64x64.jpg Infolawyer's Avatar

    Infolawyer

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    5518
    Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    2620
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/LA/lawpro/2012-6-25_171315_PT206740s.64x64.jpg Law Pro's Avatar

    Law Pro

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1711
    20 years experience in consumer advocacy, debt collection violations, contracts, construction
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1415
    16 years legal experience including consumer protection law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FL/FLAandNYLawyer/2012-1-27_14349_3Fotolia25855429M.64x64.jpg FiveStarLaw's Avatar

    FiveStarLaw

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1160
    25 years of private practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/mnphillips2/2009-03-13_203105_10984459-249293407.jpeg Phillips Esq.'s Avatar

    Phillips Esq.

    Attorney-at-Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    1065
    B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/barristerinky/2012-6-10_22423_office.64x64.jpg Barrister's Avatar

    Barrister

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1023
    Attorney with 14 years experience in various consumer protection areas