Consumer Protection Law
Consumer Protection Law Questions? Ask a Lawyer Now.
I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation.
If you're willing to pay the debt, that is the fastest and easiest way to resolve the situation. The problem is, Virginia law only allows a default judgment to be set aside in specific circumstances, such as if you are a service member who was unable to attend court, or if the judgment is void. If you were told about the case and decided not to appear at the hearing, then you legally forfeited the right to defend the debt. The way to find out if a debt is valid when someone sues you is to go to court and make them prove it to the judge (and to you). There is unfortunately no ability to appeal a default judgment - the way to have one removed is to file a Motion to Vacate (linked below). But again, that's only permitted in very specific situations that do not appear to apply based on what you've said.
Another grounds for removing a default judgment is what's called "accord and satisfaction." That's the legal term for a settlement. So, if you can pay the judgment or reach an agreement with the company, you can file this form and have the judgment removed.
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When a person is out of state due to being in the military, they can file at any time after they return to remove the default, because in that scenario, the judgement never should've been entered. Again, if you were aware of the hearing and simply did not attend or seek to reschedule it, and you weren't in the military, the judgment will probably not be removed. The way to make the request is to file the form I provided above.