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Advice on Two Judgments on Same Account

Can a bank file two judgments against me for the same loan?

Can a bank file two judgments against me for the same loan?

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Bill's Answer
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Updated: Oct 23, 2014

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Generally speaking, a creditor would not be legally allowed to obtain two judgments against the same debtor for the same obligation; however, such situations sometimes arise due to errors in the collection process. If a creditor lost its paperwork relating to the judgment, or if it failed to accurately update the status of your account in its computer database, it could result in a lawsuit being filed twice for the same account. If you fail to respond to the second lawsuit, the court may enter a default judgment against you for failure to appear, as the court would have no way to know that the previous judgment was already issued.

If you have had two judgments entered against you for the same debt, it is likely that the creditor filed two lawsuits against you for the same account in error. As I stated, this situation can arise for several reasons. As an example, I have seen a creditor accidentally forward the same account to two law firms for collection simultaneously; both law firms filed suit, and had the debtor not responded, the court would have likely entered two default judgments against the debtor for the same debt. In order to resolve the latter of these two judgments, you may be able to file with the court a motion to vacate the judgment entered against you. If you can clearly demonstrate that these two judgments resulted from separate lawsuits for the same account, I would expect the court to vacate the more recent judgment.

If the creditor has filed a second lawsuit against you but has not yet obtained a judgment, you may want to file a response with the court explaining the situation and requesting that the judge dismiss the second legal action. Most U.S. courts recognize an established legal defense, Res Judicata, Latin for “the issue has been decided,” which means that if a matter has already been ruled upon by an appropriate court, a new case cannot be brought for the same cause of action. To read more about this legal principle, you can visit lectlaw.com.

I encourage you to consult with an attorney in your area to discuss what action you can take to resolve the multiple judgments entered against you. Though you may be able to have one judgment vacated, you will still likely be responsible for the original judgment. I wish you the best of luck in resolving this legal problem, and hope that the information I have provided helps you Find. Learn. Save.

Best,

Bill

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4 Comments

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  • BA
    May, 2010
    Bill
    Creditors get only one bite at the apple. Creditor A cannot file a lawsuit, win the right for a judgment, start collecting on the judgment, and then sell the collection account to Creditor B, who files a lawsuit, etc. You need to defend the second lawsuit. Consult with an attorney about about 1) defending yourself in the upcoming hearing should there be one, and 2) determine if you have a cause of action against the new collection agent for malicious prosecution, or whatever this concept is called under Idaho law.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2010
    Ernest
    My situation is similar, but with a few key differences. In Idaho, I have a credit card debt and was contacted by an attorney in January 2008. We agreed to a payment plan and executed the agreement. I signed an agreement outlining the payment schedule, with a stipulation that a missed payment would be immediately followed by a default judgement. I made payments for 6 months, then went in one month and was told the firm was no longer servicing the account. (It had been purchased by a different collector) After a few months, I heard from the new collection company and wasn't able to workout a payment plan with them. (They wanted more money than I could afford to give them & more than the last plan I had in place) In reviewing county records, I see that the original payment plan was recorded and it shows up as a judgement against me. The new collector has now filed a suit. I have spoken to them and they are threatening to pursue a default judgement against me. I spoke to them a couple of days ago and they again stated that they would provide an option for a payment plan, but again it is much more than I can afford. With the original plan filed as a judgement against me, can the second file suit and win a judgement for the same debt?
    0 Votes

  • BA
    Jan, 2010
    Bill
    The doctrines you are asking about are known in law as "res judicata" and "collateral estoppel." Wikipedia has two good Web pages explaining these concepts. Both pertain to your situation.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2010
    paul
    I have a similar problem, I had a judgement against me.I proved in court I was exempt from execution as all my funds are direct deposit SSDI. I just recieved a letter from a different companys attorney stating they were going to get a judgement against me on the same account, I feel the account was most likely resold to this other collection agency. Can a second agency get a judgement, causing me to prove once again I'm exempt? or should I call and tell the attorney the situation. I do not intimidate easily so a call would not be a problem, I just would like as much information as possible before I call.
    0 Votes