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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 29792
Experience:  Lawyer
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An illegal judgement filed against my husband : The

Customer Question

An illegal judgement filed against my husband
JA: You're dealing with a tough issue. But don't worry -- you're in good hands. Because laws vary from state to state, could you tell me what state is this in?
Customer: The judgement is in the state of Virginia
JA: Have you consulted a lawyer yet?
Customer: No, I don't know if I should get one where I live or in Virginia
JA: Please give me a bit more information, so we can help you best.
Customer: My husband defaulted on a furniture payment through freedom furniture, I found out that company was sued for illegal collection tactics such as filing judgements on consumers who never lived nor conducted or signed the agreement in Virginia, and we are one of the consumers
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should be aware of?
Customer: No that is all
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
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.

You said the judgment is in the state of Virginia, but where do you live? Where did you buy the furniture? Were you ever served with notice of the lawsuit?

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Also, have they now filed the judgment in your home state?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I live in San Antonio Texas, the furniture was bought in Killeen texas. The judgement was filed in July of 2013 we weren't notified until December 2014
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

OK, thank you.

It is possible to file a Motion to Set Aside Judgment with the Virginia Court because you were never notified about the case. They're required to serve you and give you an opportunity to defend yourself before they can get a judgment. However, Virginia has two things a person must establish before they can vacate a default judgment. One is lack of notice, which is fine. The other thing is that you have to prove you have a viable defense to the underlying lawsuit - meaning a reason you don't have to pay them.

If the Virginia court doesn't have jurisdiction over you, that's a reason to vacate the case. But before you file, take a look at the original contract. Sometimes, there is a clause in these contracts that says, if sued, you agreed to be subject to jurisdiction in another state. If that agreement says they can sue you in Virginia, that's binding on your husband. In that case, it would not be illegal for them to have sued you in Virginia. A judge won't vacate the default unless you have some other defense. So the first step is to read that contract. If it was illegal for them to sue you, the judge will vacate the judgment and they'll have to sue you in Texas. That's the remedy when someone sues you in the wrong state.

Another option is to wait and see if they file the judgment in Texas to domesticate it, THEN defend based on lack of notice. It might be possible to convince the Texas court not to enforce the judgment, which then forces them to file in your state.

The third option is to do nothing. Texas makes it notoriously difficult to collect a judgment. They can't attach your wages. They can't take your home. They can't take money in your bank accounts. Yes, the judgment will remain on your husband's credit, which can make it hard to get loans, but they can't make you pay them. If you're concerned about your credit and want them to go away, you could try instead to negotiate a resolution where you pay some part of what they're asking for to get them to leave you alone.

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Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Did you have any other questions about this?