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Zachary
Zachary, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3814
Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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If you have a judgement against you as a result of the National

Resolved Question:

If you have a judgement against you as a result of the National Arbitration Forum how can you have it removed based on the lawsuit decision declaring it void?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  lwpat replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question and for using JA.

I am a little confused. Is there a judgment filed against you in Wyoming? If so how was it declared void?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It is my understanding that a class action lawsuit was filed against Bank of America, FIA, and MBNA and the National Arbitration Forum. I believe it was ruled on in May of 2011. Under the terms of the Settlement FIA will "Make no further effort to enforce any NAF award dated January 1, 2007 through March 1, 2010 against Class Members. The letter from NAF, dated June 4, 2008 states an award has been entered in favor of FIA. I have a judgement from this arbitration award filed with our county clerk. I am unable to find any information on this.
Expert:  lwpat replied 2 years ago.
I am not familiar with that issue so I will opt out and open the question back up to the other experts. Please do not reply as that will delay any answer.
Expert:  Zachary replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

If the award was filed with the county clerk after the date that the settlement was executed, then it is a violation of the settlement agreement. The settlement agreement should provide an idea of the remedies available if there is a breach. I will address what to do below.

If the award was filed with the county clerk prior to the execution of the settlement, then there may be an argument that there is no actual violation of the settlement agreement. The settlement agreement reads that there shall be "no FURTHER effort to enforce" an award. Thus, if the award holder is not taking action on the filed award, then there is technically no violation of the settlement agreement. The award wasn't declared void, it was settled so that there would be no further enforcement of the award.

So, the simplest answer would be to simply let the award expire. Is there any reason that you must have the award removed? Is it clouding a title, or negatively affecting your credit score?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The settlement decision was filed on 8-8-11. It requires Mann Bracken to cease all collection activities arising out of NAF arbitrations, and make no further efforts to enforce any NAF awards dated Jan.1, 2007 through March 1, 2010. Mann Bracken's granted arbitration award is dated 6-4-08. The judgement is for the arbitration award's total amount and interest of 10% per year - and this judgement is dated Jan.5, 2011. The case is U.S. District Court - District of Minnesota Civil No. 10-2122(PAM/JSM) Doesn't that fall in the time frame to make it wrong? Thanks!
Expert:  Zachary replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for getting back to me. The approved settlement agreement does not make the judgment wrong, it simply prevents Mann Bracken from enforcing it.

It is important to note that a judgment is not self enforcing, it is simply a piece of paper that can be used by the judgment creditor (in this case Mann Bracken) to go out and seek satisfaction through processes such as seizure of property and money.

Thus, a judgment can be on file and can be of utterly no effect because the judgment creditor is not seeking to enforce it. In this case, if Mann Bracken sought to enforce the judgment, it would be a breach of the settlement agreement, because enforcement of the judgment would be a collection activity arising out of the NAF arbitration.

Now, if Mann Bracken went and took an arbitration award and filed it with a court for entry of judgment after the settlement agreement was filed, that would be a violation of the settlement agreement, but since the judgment was entered BEFORE the settlement, this is a collection activity that did not breach the agreement. Nevertheless, enforcement of that judgment by seeking to seize assets based on it would be a violation of the settlement agreement and could be prevented.

The interesting question to me is whether the judgment clouds any title on real property that you have in the county or otherwise affects your credit report. Essentially, the settlement agreement is stating that any judgment would be unenforceable. Thus, if it is having an effect on you by the mere fact of its existence, then action needs to be taken.

As I write, one procedure comes to mind that I think could help you. You could file a Declaratory Judgment Action in the district court of the county where the judgment is filed, asking for a declaration of your writes in regard to the federal court settlement in connection to the judgment filed in the county, asking for the right to have a right to a judgment release filed Mann Bracken to extinguish the judgment.

This is a technical legal proceeding and I would not advise going forward on it without an attorney. Please let me know if this answers your question.

Good luck,
Zach
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Your answer makes sense to me. I wonder if I can find out if this judgement includes real estate property that would prevent or try to prevent the sale of the property?
Expert:  Zachary replied 2 years ago.
Generally, the judgment has to have been filed with the County Clerk in the Property records to form a lien on your property. My advice is to go down to the courthouse and search for judgment liens, and also take a look at your property records to see if anything has been filed. While there may be a judgment that was issued by the court, the creditor still had to take steps to file the judgment in the record, etc. Its often a step that companies just don't do.

Good Luck,
-Zach
Zachary, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3814
Experience: Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
Zachary and 16 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your help. You have given me some ideas to follow up on. I appreciate your "non-wordiness" that made it easy to understand.

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