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How to Handle a Judgement Against a Default

I received a notice of levy with respect to a credit card default. What can I do?

I have just received notice of a levy, pertaining to a credit card account that I have been fighting due to fraud. The consumer took me to court and I missed after it was rescheduled two times that I had appeared at court. So the third time I lost the case what can I do?

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Bill's Answer
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The first thing that you need to do is find an attorney to represent you in this matter. If you do not already have a regular attorney, you can contact your state or country Bar Association's attorney referral service to help you find an attorney in your area who should be able to assist you. I cannot say specifically what action you should take in regard to the judgment entered against you, as I do not know all of the details of the case. Generally speaking, when a party to a lawsuit fails to appear at a hearing, the court will enter a default judgment against the party which failed to appear. When entering a default judgment, the court generally does not consider the facts of the case; rather, it simply assumes that you owe what is demanded in the complaint based on the fact that you did not appear to defend yourself. Thankfully, courts will sometimes set aside default judgments if a defendant can show that he or she had a good reason for not appearing at the previous court hearing.

This is even more likely in a case like yours in which numerous court dates have been set and reset, as such numerous hearing dates can easily lead to confusion about when the parties need to appear in court. In addition, if you can show that you have a strong defense to the original claim, the likelihood of having the judgment set aside should increase. The only way to determine your chances of prevailing in this case is to consult with an attorney to discuss the details of your case. I suspect that your attorney will file a motion to set aside the default judgment entered against you; however, your attorney may find another strategy better suited to the specifics of your case, so it is imperative that you consult with an attorney as soon as possible to discuss ways to resolve this judgment.

If after consulting with an attorney, you find that you cannot resolve this debt through the courts, you may want to consider alternatives to resolving the judgment, such as negotiating a lump-sum settlement or a repayment plan with the creditor. You or your attorney will need to contact the creditor, or the creditor's attorney, to discuss repayment options available to you. Since you have received a notice of levy, you should also discuss your state's exemption laws regarding the enforcement of judgments. Depending on your state, the source of your funds, and several other factors, your bank account, wages, or other property may be exempt from creditor execution. Your attorney may need to file requests for exemption with the court, so make sure that you consult with your attorney as soon as possible to help you resolve this situation.

To learn more about debt collection laws in your state, see the Bills.com resources Collection Laws & Exemptions by State and Judgment Garnishment.

I wish you the best of luck in resolving this judgment, and hope that the information I have provided helps you Find. Learn. Save.

Best,

Bill

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2 Comments

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  • BA
    Mar, 2009
    Bill
    Thanks for visiting Victoria.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2009
    Victoria
    Thank this article was both comforting and helpful
    0 Votes

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