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TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4430
Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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I recently found out a judgment was filed against me in Chattanooga

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I recently found out a judgment was filed against me in Chattanooga TN and would like to know if I have any grounds to try and vacate this judgment.

Last year my bank accounts and credit cards were obtained thru the internet and used to make fraudulent charges totaling $7500. All money was recovered from the credit card companies and my 2 bank accounts. Move forward to 5 months later and I'm served with a summons to appear in court with the attorney's name to contact at the bottom of the summons. I called the attorneys office to find out that I was being sued for $498 from my bank that I use for savings and a car loan. While speaking with the attorney I went online to check my bank account and my account, savings, and car loan information were all closed with no access. The attorney stated that was not correct or possible for me to not be able to access this information. I told the attorney that I did not owe any money to the bank and was not aware of my account being closed and would need to investigate.

The attorney stated the summons was for $498 because I did not pay my loan when I stated I would. Again, I told the attorney that was incorrect because my car loan was paid and current. The attorney called the bank, called me back and stated the $498 was because I did not file the correct paperwork for the fraudulent charges back over the summer and the funds were deducted back out of my bank account. I told the attorney that all paperwork was filed from directly inside the bank and the fraudulent charges were refunded back to my account over 5 months ago. The bank would not reverse any fraudulent charges until all paperwork was processed and their investigation was completed so how can 5 months later these funds be deducted from my account again without my knowledge and then I be sued for it.

The attorney stated she was confused about this and check with the bank and get clarification again. Well, by the end of the week I called the attorney to check on what she has found out considering the court date was coming up now on Monday. The attorney stated don't worry that if she does not get clarification she will have the court date postponed.

I called again on Monday morning to check with the attorney about court today. I was instructed not to go today, they have postponed the hearing until the bank has time to respond. I called the court house and the hearing was still scheduled. I called the attorney back to tell her the hearing is not postponed according to the court house. The attorney stated that it's in fact postponed and she would also be telling the courts when the hearing is called.

The first court date was in fact postponed. I called the attorney later that day to get a new hearing date. I was asked if I would be paying this $498 before the next court hearing. I stated "no" because I do not owe fraudulent charges that I was once refunded for and I will be bringing all paperwork associated with this case and all other fraud charges that were refunded on my 7 credit cards and second bank account with a different bank.

The attorney stated after she follows up with the bank I will be informed of what to do from here. Well, another 4 months has passed, and when checking my credit report there is now a judgment against me. I went to the court house to get information on this judgment to find out the attorney went to court 3 times after the first postponed date without ever notifying me of one single hearing date and filed a judgment against me.

I would like to know if this is proper process and if there is anything I can do from here. I don't owe this and most certainly don't owe now attorneys fees, interest and now phone calls over wage garnishment next. I can clearly prove the fraud charges over several credit cards, my second bank account and all the investigations associated from them all.

How are you notified of a new court hearing if the first one is postponed?

Can I be sued for fraudulent charges that were processed, investigated by the bank and refunded to my account? Then 5 months later claim the paperwork for the fraudulent charge claim was not received when the only way I received the funds reversed to my account was to complete all paperwork, and investigation done, then my account credited?

Can something be done about this judgment and how this was handled? Or am I just SOL?

Thank you for your question.

You can file a motion to vacate judgment with the court and provide an affidavit that you were never given notice of the hearing and were misled by the attorney. You can file this as a letter to the judge listing the name of the case, the case number, and providing the relevant facts.

"Motion to Vacate Default Judgment

1. I was summoned on _________________.

2. The plaintiff's attorney notified me that the hearing would be postponed and told me she would provide notice to me when the next hearing was scheduled.

3. I did not receive additional notice of any other hearing date either from the Plaintiff's attorney or from the court.

4. I wish to present my defense to this case so that justice may be done. This debt is not mine and was the result of a resolved fraud to my account by an unknown third party. Supposedly the bank had already handled this matter and agreed that the charge was fraudulent and returned the money to my account. I will prove this if allowed by the court to present my defense.

5. I immediately filed this motion to vacate default judgment upon discovering that a judgment had been taken against me when I found the same reported in my credit report. It was not for lack of diligence, but because I was misled by the Plaintiff's counsel.

Please vacate the default judgment and provide a new hearing date to require Plaintiff to prove its case."

Please let me know if you have further questions. Please also remember to rate my answer positively so that I am compensated for my work by the website.

Best Regards,
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your quick response. Should I possibly hire an attorney to represent me, or do you think considering the circumstances I could do this on my own? When visiting the Clerk of the Courts office to find out how this happened, the clerks office pointed to the attorney on my summons and stated "that's your problem right there", and has a reputation for questionable practices.

This is something you can do yourself. The cost of an attorney to do this would be more than what the alleged judgment is for.
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