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John
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Category: Legal
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Experience:  Licensed and practicing attorney.
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I have a default judgement filed against me at a local circuit

Customer Question

I have a default judgement filed against me at a local circuit court for old credit card debt. The debt is 10 years old. The judgement was filed 7 years ago. I was not notified of the filing. I found out because my bank account was seized. I want to fight back. What can I do and what are the steps?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  John replied 1 year ago.

EmplmntLaw1 :

Hi thanks for submitting your question today. The first thing you will want to do is file an objection to the garnishment of your account. You can find the form for that here. Then you will have to motion the court to set aside the judgment. You can find the form to file this here. You will need to file both of these with the court clerk of the court in which the judgment was entered. There is a $20 motion fee for filing a motion. Further you will need to serve these on the opposing party. You will then have a hearing during which you will need to present that you were not served with the original summons. Unfortunately less scrupulous attorneys and process servers will forge the defendant's signature on a proof of service. So if you have recent signature samples bring them to the court with you. And likewise be able to explain that you did not recieve the original summons.

Expert:  John replied 1 year ago.
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Expert:  John replied 1 year ago.

Hi thanks for submitting your question today. The first thing you will want to do is file an objection to the garnishment of your account. You can find the form for that here. Then you will have to motion the court to set aside the judgment. You can find the form to file this here. You will need to file both of these with the court clerk of the court in which the judgment was entered. There is a $20 motion fee for filing a motion. Further you will need to serve these on the opposing party. You will then have a hearing during which you will need to present that you were not served with the original summons. Unfortunately less scrupulous attorneys and process servers will forge the defendant's signature on a proof of service. So if you have recent signature samples bring them to the court with you. And likewise be able to explain that you did not receive the original summons.

Expert:  John replied 1 year ago.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

1) How much time, or at what point should I file the motion after I file the objection? Or should I do them both at the same time?


2) How does the statue of limitations come into play, or how may it in the future? For example, if I get a new court date, it would be past the SoL, I think.


3) Lastly, at what point will they not be allowed to garnish me, and what will they have to achieve to be able to garnish me again?

Expert:  John replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your reply. Answering your follow up questions as follows:

1) How much time, or at what point should I file the motion after I file the objection? Or should I do them both at the same time? -- It is crucial you get the objection in within 14 days of when the bank mailed it to you or you jeopardize the bank sending the funds to the plaintiff. You are going to have a hearing on the objection set up at some time within the near future, probably around 21 days from the date of your objection. There is no requirement that you file the motion concurrent or at the same time as the objection but you might as well file them concurrent because a) you can have the hearing for the two on the same date, and b) the issues addressed on both matters are virtually identical - i.e., you were never properly served the summons and had no notice of the underlying action against you.

2) How does the statue of limitations come into play, or how may it in the future? For example, if I get a new court date, it would be past the SoL, I think. -- If you're successful in having the matter set aside because there was no valid service of the summons upon you, then because this debt is so old the claim would have to be dismissed in its entirety; if they tried to re-file it now it would be barred by the statute of limitations.

3) Lastly, at what point will they not be allowed to garnish me, and what will they have to achieve to be able to garnish me again? -- I think you're asking - If this judgment against you stands, then how long can they garnish you? The answer being - judgments in Michigan are good for 10 years and can be renewed once - for a total of twenty years of collectibility. If your motion is successful, of course, then you have nothing to worry about - they couldn't garnish you. You asked also - what will they have to achieve to be able to garnish me again? -- They're first off going to have to be able to show the judgment against you is valid. Then they have to locate assets they can garnish - the primary things they go after are a) wages and b) bank accounts. If you can avoid putting your money in a bank - or keep limited money in a bank, and keep them from knowing where you work, this gives you an advantage. You could also ask the court for an order regarding installment payments, which you would have to submit to the court that you'll pay a fixed (commensurate with your income) amount each month in exchange the plaintiff would not be allowed to garnish you in any way while you made those payments.

Hope this helps
Expert:  John replied 1 year ago.
I am sending you this follow-up to determine if you require further assistance with your matter. I believe I have answered your question to the best of my abilities. I truly enjoy helping others with my knowledge and experience, and I believe I provide a valuable service. If you agree that my response was of value to you, please support my endeavor to share my knowledge by providing a positive rating; these allow me to continue to serve customers. Providing a positive rating will not cost you any additional charge, but it will permit the website to credit me with answering your question. Otherwise, the website does not credit me with answering your question. Thanks.
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