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TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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i have a default judgement against me court is tommrow. I recevied

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i have a default judgement against me court is tommrow. I recevied a summons and of course not able to afford a lawyer I did what I felt was right and sent them a note with a check for 100 dollars. The note stated I would pay 100 dollars a month until debt was paid in full. I did this before the 20 days was up. I then received the default judgement and was very confused until I discovered there was certain paper work i should have filled out. I thought what I did was right. It is my debt and I do intend to pay it. So now what do I do. The check has also not yet been cashed have they refused my payment?

Thank you for your question and I'm sorry to hear about your situation.

The only way to avoid a default judgment from being issued against you was to file an "Answer" with the court in which you were sued. Because you failed to do this, the court issued the default judgment against you. You sending in a check and offering to go onto a payment plan was not the correct thing to do. If you wanted to do this, then you should have attempted to communicate with the creditor and offer this sort of payment plan before they sued you.

I'm sure that the default judgment is for more than you originally owed. The court will sometimes allow you to undo a default judgment, although in this case they probably will not.

After having received the default judgment, the creditor now has a right to levy your bank accounts and potentially levy your wages. You want to avoid this because it can cause hardship on you.

You state that there is a "court tomorrow". Do you know exactly what the court hearing is about? Do you have any of the paperwork with you?

I look forward to hearing back from you.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

it says motion for judgement by default

That is in fact good news.

What you need to do is go ahead and file the "Answer".

What court is this in?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

what kind of answer it is in whatcom count district court

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

what kind of answer? whatcom county district court. where did you go.


Sorry for the delay. I will look up some information and get back to you shortly. Please stand by.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thank you. Ok

How much is the creditor suing you for?

Are you calculations as to how much you owe them the same?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

1415.55 with there attorney fees yes it is the same as my calculations.

OK. The small claims court is also held in the district court there in WA, so what I recommend you doing is go to court tomorrow and appear at the hearing. When you are called by the judge, tell the judge that you wish to speak to the attorney. Tell the attorney that you want to enter into a payment plan with them and that if they don't accept you are going to file an answer and contest the amount due. See if they will cooperate with you.

If not,then tell the judge that you want to contest the case and deny liability and then follow the judge's instructions.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

So the judge will then give me permmsion to speak to the attornery, and that is when I tell her that. Sorry not been to court before. What is and answer. What might be the judges instructions?


An Answer is the document you file in the court which "answers" the lawsuit. It states:

Defendant, [Your Name] appears herein and files this answer.

Defendant generally denies each and every, all and singular, claims in the Plaintiff [their name] petition. Specifically, Plaintiff denies that the amount asserted to be due is the correct amount. Second, Plaintiff denies that the attorney's fees claims are reasonable and necessary. Third, the Plaintiff asserts that this claim is barred by the statute of limitations and the statute of frauds.

Wherefore, Premises considered, Defendant asks that Plaintiff be required to appear and provide evidence establishing its claim at a trial of this matter, and that after the trial this court dismiss Plaintiff's case and grant Defendant costs and such other and further relief in law or in equity, to which Defendant is justly entitled.

Respectfully submitted,

(Your Name)

You take the above document and you go to the court clerk's office and ask to file it. You will also take this with you to court tomorrow.

When you tell the judge that you want to go to trial and contest their claim, the judge is going to tell you to file an answer (see above) and will give you a date on which you can come back. Tell the judge you have the answer with you and are ready to file.

Unless the attorney finds you before the judge calls your case, you won't know who the attorney is. So when the judge calls your case, stand up and say "I'm here your honor" and then go forward and say "Your honor, I'd like a chance to speak to Plaintiff's attorney to see if we can enter into an agreement without the need for anything further from the court." At that point, the judge will either say yes or no, or ask you what you want to do. Tell the judge you'd like to settle this case by offering a payment plan, but if the creditor won't agree you are prepared to file an answer and take the case to trial.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

So I would assume there is a great possiblilty that they will take the payments. Not wanting to lose the money.

No, you shouldn't assume that. They may say "we won't agree to anything unless you pay us everything right now."

They've sued you, and you already agree you owe the money, so it is an uphill battle for you. The only card you have is that you can tell them you are going to contest the case unless they agree to a payment plan. They may say "no", at which point you need to decide to either be prepared to file the Answer and fight the case, or to simply agree to the default judgment.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you so much for your time today. I greatly appreciate it.

You are welcome. Please remember to rate my answer positively. If you don't do that, then I won't be compensated for my work on your question.

I appreciate your business,
TexLaw and 5 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Please let me know if you have any follow up questions. I wish you good luck at the hearing.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you. One of the comments you made yesterday about being a motion for default was good news what did you mean about that.


I meant that by the way you had started out describing it, I thought you already had the default judgment against you. The fact that it has not happened yet means that there is still time for you to do something.

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