Default Judgement Entered but Was Not Served - Credit Repair Forum from Creditnet
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  1. #1
    robhasty is offline Newbie
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    Default Judgement Entered but Was Not Served

    Hello everyone, this is my first post...trying to figure out answer but need a little help:

    A default judgment was entered on my CR for an old credit card debt.

    A debt collector's rep. served my father at his home. I haven't lived there for years but that is apparently the last known address for me. The server asked if he was Robert H., which he is, but not the right one (we have different middle names).

    So, they served the wrong person, but now I've got the judgment on my CR and he's now got a lien on his house.

    I don't have a problem paying the debt, but my question is will the judgment remain on my CR after paying. Is there a way out of this since they didn't even serve the correct person. I'm not sure the best way to settle this in the interest of cleaning up my credit as well as removing the lien off his home.

    I'm in California. Thanks for helping.
    Rob

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  3. #2
    init2winit is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by robhasty View Post
    A debt collector's rep. served my father at his home. I haven't lived there for years but that is apparently the last known address for me. The server asked if he was Robert H., which he is, but not the right one (we have different middle names).

    So, they served the wrong person, but now I've got the judgment on my CR and he's now got a lien on his house.
    You might be able to get the judgment vacated on these grounds: improper service.

    Quote Originally Posted by robhasty View Post
    I don't have a problem paying the debt, but my question is will the judgment remain on my CR after paying.
    If for some reason you cannot get the judgment vacated, it will remain on the report for at least 7 years, possibly longer. But if you get it vacated, and then the creditor turns around and get a judgment on their intended target (you), the new judgment will remain on the report for at least 7 years, possibly longer.

    Quote Originally Posted by robhasty View Post
    I'm not sure the best way to settle this in the interest of cleaning up my credit as well as removing the lien off his home.
    Once the mistaken identity issue is proven, they would have to remove the lien from his home.

  4. #3
    cap1sucks is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by init2winit View Post

    Once the mistaken identity issue is proven, they would have to remove the lien from his home.
    Why is it still on there? He was wrongfully sued or wrongfully joined to the suit and he should file motion to vacate the judgment on those grounds and leave you out of it.

    Of course, they will try to trick him into stating who the correct person is if he isn't but it is not his responsibility to find the right person or even admit he knows who it is.

    He can also file a big lawsuit against them for the damages they have caused him. They owe him a lot of money.

  5. #4
    robhasty is offline Newbie
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    There really is no mistaken identity, I simply was not served....they served my father with similar name at his residence. I never lived there, they got his address off my CR because we continue to get each others stuff on our CR.

    I'm sure I can get the judgment set aside due to improper service but my question was to whom should I go to....the court and tell them my story or call the atty's office that was responsible for the suit and tell them they served the wrong guy.

    I do intend to pay up, but I will do so only after the judgment is removed ( and before they serve the right guy).

    Rob

  6. #5
    init2winit is offline Senior Member
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    I would pay now, then clear dad's name. They have no way to get a judgment on a paid debt. And dad might be able to recoop your losses with a mistaken identity lawsuit to boot :-)

    If you clear his name first, they are surely going to start searching for you (and probably find you), file suit right away, then you are stuck with a judgment.

  7. #6
    desertrat is offline Member
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    I don't think you're understanding here. Somebody OTHER THAN YOU was served with papers for a lawsuit intended for YOU. THAT person failed to respond, the party who served him filed for a default judgement and the court granted it. Now THAT PERSON has a lien on his house from a judgement that was unlawfully served.

    That's no different than if they arrested someone else for a crime that you allegedly committed! How many people are sitting behind bars who were wrongfully arrested and convicted because they just never thought to do anything about it -- they're innocent, so surely this will all get cleared up, right? NOT!

    It's YOUR DAD who needs to do something. Not you. HE needs to get the judgement vacated. That will have the effect of removing it from your credit as well. Then they have to start all over again from scratch.

    First they have to find the REAL YOU. Just make sure your dad doesn't tell them.

    Your dad should call a lawyer immediately. Or you could find one for him. But either way, this is your DAD'S PROBLEM. You keep your head down and support him in clearing up his end of the deal. THEN worry about yours when it comes back later on.

  8. #7
    robhasty is offline Newbie
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    This will just show how screwed up and one-sided the system is...

    My dad can't do anything because the judgment is in MY name. If the server would have asked him "are you John W. Doe" he would have said nope, I'm John T. Doe. But all the server did was knock on the door and say "Are you John Doe?"

    Of course he said yes because he was - he didn't know why the guy was asking.

    So the the judgment was entered under my name after they served him.

    THEN the attorney went to the county in which we both live and put a lien on my fathers house thinking it was my house. Amazing because I don't own ANY real property and his house is in HIS name with HIS SSN. The Attys office believes his house is mine because his address is on my credit report. (our stuff gets mixed up all the time on our credit reports) Their using his address as "my last known address"

    I can't believe you can go put a lien on someone's property that easy...and then THAT person will end up having to pay an attorney to fix the problem. My father should be able to sue the attys office for placing a lien on the wron g property.

  9. #8
    cap1sucks is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by robhasty View Post
    This will just show how screwed up and one-sided the system is...

    My dad can't do anything because the judgment is in MY name. If the server would have asked him "are you John W. Doe" he would have said nope, I'm John T. Doe. But all the server did was knock on the door and say "Are you John Doe?"
    Of course, we didn't know all that when we answered your message.

    I'm going to have to give this one some thought to see how to go about taking care of your problem before I can give any further suggestions.

    It may be a couple of days or so before I can get to it because I'm really snowed under with work for the next couple of days or so.

  10. #9
    bizwiz41 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by robhasty View Post
    This will just show how screwed up and one-sided the system is...

    My dad can't do anything because the judgment is in MY name. If the server would have asked him "are you John W. Doe" he would have said nope, I'm John T. Doe. But all the server did was knock on the door and say "Are you John Doe?"

    Of course he said yes because he was - he didn't know why the guy was asking.

    So the the judgment was entered under my name after they served him.

    THEN the attorney went to the county in which we both live and put a lien on my fathers house thinking it was my house. Amazing because I don't own ANY real property and his house is in HIS name with HIS SSN. The Attys office believes his house is mine because his address is on my credit report. (our stuff gets mixed up all the time on our credit reports) Their using his address as "my last known address"

    I can't believe you can go put a lien on someone's property that easy...and then THAT person will end up having to pay an attorney to fix the problem. My father should be able to sue the attys office for placing a lien on the wron g property.
    OK,, first things first; your father should be able to take care of this at the county courthouse by first obtaining a copy of the judgement (which should be a public record), and showing them the documentation (judgement, summons, copy of deed showing HIS full name). He may want to retain an attorney to ensure nothing is missed. Then, your father may want to sue for damages, though this will be hard to show (unless he is denied for credit somewhere in this process). Make sure he gets a full withdrawal of the lien, NOT just a release.

    Next, you have bought time, you should file a motion to vacate based upon lack of service. However, this is only time you've bought, they will start the process over. If you can pay it, settle for the least amount they will accept. You may be able to use your father's "suit" as negotiating leverage.

  11. #10
    desertrat is offline Member
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    I still think your best bet in this case is to get an atty involved. He'd be able to deal with it and shield YOU (atty/client priv) while fixing things for your dad.

    If you do it on your own, you're probably going to need to be sticking your neck out there and they'll find you.

    BTW, how much money are we talking about here??

    If you're prepared to pay it, that might be your QUICKEST solution. (You said earlier you wanted to.) You might be able to get them to reduce the amount by threatening to sue them for their screw-up.

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