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I have two judgements for the same thing from a place I lived

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I have two judgements for the same thing from a place I lived in 3 years ago. For the first judgement I had no idea what was happening until it appeared on my credit (I vacated the apt. less than 30 days before the lease was up). So last yr they attempt to sue me yet again for the same blessed lease so I kept going to court attempting to get the judge to hear it. All they said was go out into the hall and talk to them. The third time it was continued I just didnt have the time at my job to leave again so a default judgement was entered. Now, 2009,I am going to pay them off. I read somewhere that I can enter a motion to vacate the judgement after it has been satisfied. I want to know if (1) I should hire an attorney and (2) My honest to god chance of having these judgements removed. They are the only things I have left on my credit and then I can finally be a first time home buyer. Thank you so much in advance :-)
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  LawHelpNow replied 8 years ago.

Hello and thanks for choosing Just AnswerTM. I am a licensed attorney, and I will be glad to try and assist you. To assist in providing you with accurate information, could you please clarify this point:


  1. What is the name of the Court in which the Judgments were rendered?


Once I hear back from you, I will be glad to let you know my answer. There may be some delay as I am assisting other customers or am away from my computer. Please rest assured, however, that I will get back to you as soon as possible.



Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Virginia beach city civil court
Expert:  LawHelpNow replied 8 years ago.

Hello and thanks so much for choosing this forum to pose your important legal question. I will do my best to give you some honest and accurate guidance as I answer your question.


  1. I am a licensed attorney, and I will be glad to try and answer your question. I hope that the following information will be helpful to you, but please just write back if you have any follow-up questions or need clarification on anything after reviewing the following information. Thank you for taking the time to supply the additional request information, which was helpful to my analysis of your issue. I am sorry for all you have been through with this mess. I hope that everything gets resolved appropriately for you in this matter. Please allow me to outline the governing legal procedures followed by some specific considerations for your case.
  2. Under Virginia law, you do have some legal protections as far as having a right to an official record once you have satisfied the debt. Specifically, I would take a look at these statutory provisions: 8.01-453; 8.01-454; and 8.01-455.
  3. As you can see, the judgment creditor has an affirmative duty to report the satisfaction, which can then be submitted as evidence to the credit reporting agencies. I would suggest that you send written notice along with your payment (when you are able to do so) and remind the plaintiff of this obligation. If they do not comply in timely fashion, you can then pursue an action to exercise your right to have the satisfaction officially noted in the court records. If things get to that point, you may want to retain counsel even if on a limited representation basis to prepare the forms and walk you through the process. Virginia Lawyer Referral Service is a good place to find an attorney if it comes to that.


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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank you but that is not exactly what I was asking. I want the judgement removed from my credit, not marked as satisfied or paid. The creditor is required to file that it has been satisifed and I am sure they would follow through with that. I was asking more so about how to have a motion to vacate the original judgements so the credit bureau's would remove it. Thanks for your time but this isn't exactly what I was looking for.
Expert:  LawHelpNow replied 8 years ago.

Hello again and thanks for writing back.


I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX any confusion. I have carefully read everything you shared (above). Could you please confirm one point for me? Were both judgments granted as defaults? I am thinking just one was, but I want to make sure I am correct in my understanding. If one was not a default judgment, could you describe anything about the grounds upon which it was granted if you lost on the merits?


Many thanks for bearing with me. I appreciate your patience.


Take care and thanks again for using JustAnswer®.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Hi again :-)


Yes...both were granted as defaults...I never got to argue or state my point. Here is some more information:


For the first one I did not find out it was on my credit until I went to get an auto loan in 2005


For the second one they sent the summons to my parents house instead of mine, so I showed up for court and the judge said to go out into the hall, speak to the attorney and see if we could come to an agreement.


This went on for about 5 months until the last time it was continued I simply could not attend because I had lost time at work trying to deal with it.


I was not present for either judgements filed..


Keep in mind this is for the same apartment I had back in 2005 so I was really confused as to how one apartment complex could secure 2 judgements although I only had one total debt. I didnt live there twice.


First judgement was in 2005

Second judgement was in 2008


So to be clear, I am going to pay them tomorrow morning. I want the end result to be both judgements removed from my credit. I researched and found out the only way to do that is by filing a motion to vacate the judgement. I want to know if its probable the judge will remove approve the motion to vacate or if there is anything else I can do to have it removed.


By paying it, the only thing that will happen is my credit will show it as will not be removed by that alone?


Thanks again

Expert:  LawHelpNow replied 8 years ago.

Hello again and thanks for writing back.


I am relieved to hear that! Default judgments are rather disfavored by the law.


Under Virginia law, I can see valid grounds for setting aside (vacating) these two default judgment. Specifically, § 8.01-428 provides in pertinent part:


"A. Default judgments and decrees pro confesso; summary procedure. - Upon motion of the plaintiff or judgment debtor and after reasonable notice to the opposite party, his attorney of record or other agent, the court may set aside a judgment by default or a decree pro confesso upon the following grounds: (i) fraud on the court, (ii) a void judgment, (iii) on proof of an accord and satisfaction, or (iv) on proof that the defendant was, at the time of service of process or entry of judgment, a person in the military service of the United States for purposes of 50 U.S.C. app. § 502. Such motion on the ground of fraud on the court shall be made within two years from the date of the judgment or decree." [emphasis added in italics]


So, once you have paid the debt (satisfied the judgment) you can move for actual setting aside (vacation) of the judgment, which I think it what you ultimately want to accomplish here. I realize it pertains to a different Court, but here is an example of such a motion. I did have another thought about the most cost-effective and hassle-free way of accomplishing this. You might consider using an "unbundled legal services" business whereby a licensed Virginia attorney could prepare the documents you need and walk you through filing with the court, serving the other side, and securing an order on your motion. Just a suggestion for you to mull over.


I hope this is of some more help. I send my best regards XXXXX XXXXX to work out.


Take care and thanks again for using JustAnswer®.

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