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CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10238
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing HOAs, homeowners, businesses and others in real estate matters.
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This is in the state of Arizona: I just learned from a new

Customer Question

This is in the state of Arizona: I just learned from a new employer that my wages are being garnished(25%): Some scumbag from a management company "won" a judgment against me(I was never served or told that I had a court date-this was in 2011) for a lease that I wasn't on(I never signed on anything)-My late wife(passed away last year) rented a house in her name in 2011-(we were in the beginning stage of separation.) This house was rented from a private individual(requiring no security deposit) who then passed the lease off to management company- a few months later I was called by a manager who said that we were behind on rent and owed a huge sum-I asked how that was possible when we were paying rent-he said that the rent was being deducted to pay for a security deposit-which put us behind on rent(and they were adding late fees) at that point I told him we were moving out. And we did...Do I have any recourse? Can I do anything? In addition to the money(which I cant afford-I am a single father) This was extremely embarrassing-Having to be confronted by my new employer....Thank you for any help
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 10 months ago.

Dear Customer,

I am sorry to learn of this situation.

The judgment that they got against you was likely entered "by default" following fraudulent service (some process server or other individual singed a false statement saying that they served you with the summons and complaint).

You can file a motion to vacate this judgment (and get the money back that was pulled out of your account), as well as fight the underlying claim (You would have a breach of oral contract statute of limitations of 3 years, the security deposit cannot be created after the fact, all of this is created by hearsay (statements by the manager who was not a party to the claimed conversation and unsupported by any documentation, rent payments cannot have deductions made against it).

While you can do all of this yourself, it is a little complex, and I believe that if I understand you correctly you have a timing issue (you are already suffering from wage garnishment, you have other things that are more pressing - work, raising your children, etc., and you want to avoid as many future garnshments as possible) - all of this means you will want this addressed as quickly as possible.

The fastest, and most efficient way to deal with this would be to hire a lawyer (you aren't entering into lengthy or drawn out civil litigation here, you really want an attorney that is going to send this management company a demand letter to return your money, vacate the judgment, and redact any claims they made against your credit - and if they don't he will be forced to file motions with the court seeking sanctions in the amount of his legal fees incurred in dealing with this matter due to the fraudulent proof of service.

You can find local attorneys using the State and local Bar Association directories, or private directories such as www.AVVO.com; www.FindLaw.com; or www.Martindale.com (I personally find www.AVVO.com to be the most user friendly).