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Andrea, Esq.
Andrea, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
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Experience:  25 yrs. of experience in employment law, real estate and business law, family law, criminal defense and immigration.
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I have a default judgment against me for 18k. I was an authorized

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I have a default judgment against me for 18k. I was an authorized signer on a Wells Fargo business account. W.F. Never attempted collection from me but once the account was sold, the collection firm did, and I, mistaking it for another debt, allowed it to go unanswered.
Two important things, WF tells me via phone that they do not show me as responsible for this and one other account . Neither is it posted on my credit report. However, because they sold the account, they cannot or will not give me a statement to that effect.
Also, the only reason I signed anything for this account is that I was duped by my fiance into believing I was 50% owner of the company. Wells Fargo was aware that I was not owner as they required corp. docs, (which I had never seen.) these clearly state that my fiancé is 100% owner.
Can they be held responsible for not providing the statement? Or if they will not state my obligation status in writing, can I sue for having me sign docs without clearly stating I had no ownership so no responsibility to sign?
Thx! Chloe392

Hi, and Welcome to JustAnswer, My name isXXXXX am a licensed, practicing Attorney and my goal is to give you Excellent Service and correct Answers and information,


I am sorry to hear of your predicament and that your fiancé placed you in it.


1. The collection agency had no right, or authority to name you as a defendant. Whether the account belonged to the collection company, or they bought it from a lender, they still had an obligation to do their "homework" to be sure that they were suing the correct party and had they done their "Due Diligence", they would not have named you. The collection company is liable to you for any damages you incur as a result of their negligence. You should claim all your attorneys' fees, costs, and exenses and all other fees resulting from this lawsuit. Had it affected your credit, you would have included that in your statement of damages.


2. Wells Fargo may have known that you had no proprietary interest in the company, but that is the main reason that they did not have an obligation to inform you. Unfortunately, as much as I would like to see Wells Fargo named as a Defendant in a lawsuit, your lawsuit would have little chance of success because they would have had to owe you a duty to inform you, but they did not owe you a duty. The banks expect that anybody who is going to sign documents will come with their attorney. As a matter of fact, had Wells Fargo interpreted the documents and advised you on anything, they would have faced liability based on a conflict of interest and they would have appeared that they were practicing law without a license.


Neither can they give you a written statement because there is no business relationship between you and Wells Fargo and the have no obligation to you i.e., they do not have a duty to you. This element must be present in any lawsuit in order to have even a 25% chance of success. Extending the "duty" argument one step to the collection agency, you can see that they owed you a duty. They were preparing to file a lawsuit, therefore, they owed every defendant the duty to make certain that the person they were suing was the correct defendant. Those are the people who have a liability to you and against whom you should be going,





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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
So can I sue them after they received a judgment against me? In civil court?

Hi, Thank youfor the "Excellent Service" rating, I appreciate it greatly, and Thank you for your follow up question and the opportunity to explain further,



Yes, you can sue them, but I believe it is better if you first file a Motion to Set Aside or Vacate Judgment" and in your Motion you wouldstate your reasons as being they sued the wrong party, you did not owe anydebt to them or Wells Fargo, the bank from whom they bought this debt, and any other defensesyou have. Be sure to also state all damages you incurred as well as causing you "extreme anxiety", "emotion and mental distress", etc. These damages are not normally given in this type of action, but include them anyway because ascertaining the real Defendant would have been very easy for them and it is clear that they did not conduct any "due diligence", and therefore, should constitute "Gross Negligence".


I wish you the best of Luck,






Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you,
Which would I use small claims, or a a civil suit?
They have 2 erroneous judgments on me. One a business account and one personal, both from same bank, both belong to my fiance. Can one suit include both?
Do I need to request a specific dollar amount when I file? & should I include the amount of their judgment(s) in my Damages? or would that disappear if I win?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Also, I did file a motion to vacate but served it certified mail when it should have been process server because of the time frame. It was "denied" but no hearing, no reason, just checked the "denied" box and signed the order.










Hi, again, Sorry for the delay, but I was in Court for a 11:00 AM hearing and I returned later than I had expected.


1. In Answer to your first question in which Court to file your Motion - You would file your Motion to Vacate in the Court which entered the Default Judgment against you. They are both civil actions (as opposed to criminal matters);


2. Although both cases involve the same parties, you and the collection company, they are different cases and have different case numbers must be addressed separately;


3. I cannot say why your Motion was denied because I do not know what allegations your Motion included and do not know how the collection company Answered. A Motion must contain certain allegations which must be in consecutively numbered paragraphs:


1. Plaintiff is __________ ,

2. Defendant is ___________ residing at ______________;

3. To the best of the Defendant's knowledge, information, and belief, Plaintiff bought certain accounts from Wells Fargo __________

4. Defendant did not and does not owe Wells Fargo any debt;

5. Plaintiff instituted actions against the owners of these accounts and who owed money to Wells Fargo

6. Plaintiff erroneously filed an action against Defendant


And so on. You would continue along these lines for both Motions and allege in your Motion why you do notowe the money. It is basically a story, but each paragraph can contain only one sentence, and in the end, you ask the Judge to Vacate and Set Aside the Judgment,




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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I am filing an appeal for the smaller one, I didn't act quickly enough to appeal the $18k. Since the motion to vacate was denied,
Can I file another motion (possibly a motion to modify since one of the defendants was the correct person?) or am I limited to one attempt?
Thx again

Hi, If your Motion to vacate was denied, you cannot file the same Motion again. Your recourse would be file an Appeal of the denial of the Motion.


I do not understand what you would be requesting the Court to Modify.




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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I thought that a motion to modify might cover removing only myself from the judgment , since we were both named together on the judgment , and the other party is the true debtor.
Thank you!

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