How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Lucy, Esq. Your Own Question
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 30383
Experience:  Lawyer
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Lucy, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

, a judgement just came on my credit report that is

Customer Question

Customer: Hello
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: a judgement just came on my credit report that is over 7 years old. I never received any paper work and dint know a judgement was filed against me until today. where should i start? I live in California
JA: OK got it. Last thing — JustAnswer charges a fee (generally around $36) to post your type of question to Legal Experts (you only pay if satisfied). There are a couple customers ahead of you. We can help you for less if you're not in a rush. Are you willing to wait a bit?
Customer: surew
JA: OK. Now I'm going to take you to a page to place a secure deposit with JustAnswer. Don't worry, this chat is saved. After that, we will finish helping you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.


I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation.

In California, a judgment is good for 10 years from the date that it is issued, and it can be renewed. That also means a person who has a judgment against you is able to put it on your credit report. The way to get it removed is to seek to have the original judgment vacated.

In California, getting a judgment vacated requires that (a) You were never served with notice of the underlying lawsuit and (b) You have a valid defense to the payment, such as that the statute of limitations had run when it was filed or you did not owe the money in the first place. If you can establish both of those things, you have the ability to file a Motion to Vacate Default. In Small Claims Court, this needs to be filed within 180 days after you find the judgment. In the larger courts, you have more time, but it's not in your best interests to delay (especially if they're trying to collect a bogus judgment).

The first step is to visit the courthouse that issued the judgment and get copies of ALL documents filed in the case. You need to see exactly how much they're suing you for, why, when they filed, and how they claim to have served you with notice of the lawsuit. If you're not sure which courthouse has the case, it should be the county where you were living when it was filed. It might help to make a few phone calls before going in, and if that's not where you live now, see if they'll mail the documents to you (they usually will, for a small photocopying fee). Once you have that, you can prepare your Motion to Vacate. In Small Claims Court, there is a form you can use. If you're in the Superior Court, you can use the form to draft your own motion or hire a local attorney to help. The easiest way to know the difference is that Small Claims should be for less than $10,000, and Superior Court would be for any amount above that.

If you have any questions or concerns about my response, please reply WITHOUT RATING. It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so I am paid for the time I spend answering questions. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. There is no charge for follow-up questions. Thank you.