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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 38911
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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I just did a background check on myself just out of curiosity

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I just did a background check on myself just out of curiosity and found that I have a lien or judgement against me from 2005. I have never been contacted about anything previously. I was living in Florida at the time but I have moved a few times due to my being in the military. How can I find out any information on this or what it is about and how can I resolve it? Thank you for your time.

If the background check describes the judgment from which the lien was created, then use the case number XXXXX name of the court to contact the court clerk where the judgment was entered and get a copy of the judgment. That will tell you exactly what you are found liable for and in what amount.

If the bankruptcy check does not describe the judgment, you can get a copy of your credit report, which should show the underlying judgment. If not, then you can visit the county clerk's office where the lien is filed and get a copy of the lien. This will also show the name of the court, case number, which you can use to contact the court and get a copy of the judgment.

All of this requires a bit of "private investigation," but it's the only way to find out what you're up against, because the court has the definitive information in its case file.

Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
The background check did state the court and the case number. I have checked my credit report from all three agencies and not one of them states anything about this. I'm confounded. I will contact the court on Monday. Shouldn't I have been contacted or something pertaining to this?
You should have been served a summons and complaint -- otherwise, the judgment is potentially voidable for ineffective service/lack of personal jurisdiction over you.

Many times, a process server will lie in the affidavit to the court as to your being served, because it's so easy to do, and because process servers generally only get paid if service succeeds. So, there is a strong incentive to file a false proof of service.

When you contact the court, in addition to the judgment, get a copy of the complaint, and the proof of service. If you decide to challenge the judgment, then you may have to try to subpoena the process server to appear and testify re service on you. You may also be able to produce your own witnesses to testify that you were not where the process server claims you were at the time of service. That would probably be sufficient to have the judgment set aside -- and perhaps cause the plaintiff to simply decide not to try to bring the matter to trial, because if this was a debt collector, they won't spend any money to get a judgment. They are only interested in easy money cases.

Hope this helps.
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