Not a good Credit Repair Day!

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by hurricane5, Jul 6, 2001.

  1. hurricane5

    hurricane5 Well-Known Member

    Well, I had been doing pretty good for a while, but today was a little bit of a setback.

    I have 2 judgements from an apartment that I rented with a "friend" in 1995. The short of it is that I moved out (to take a job in another state), he wanted to keep the place and said he had another roommate lined up, found out that he abandoned the place, and the apt. folks ended up getting a judgement on me in 98. Once I found out about it (got a letter in 98 saying they were going to freeze my bank account if I didn't pay). So of course I went to court to deal with it (had to drive 4 hours to do this) found out that my ex-roomie told the lawyers that he was "supposed to live there for free" -- even though he was on the lease (like I'm going to be a sugardaddy for another guy -- yeah right!). Anyway, they settled with him for $500 and came after me for the rest. I paid both judgments, but of course they are killing me on my CR --even though they show paid.

    In a stroke of "inspiration" last week, I decided to call the apt. complex. I spoke to the "new" manager who was very nice. I explained to her my situation, and she told me that she would call the lawyers and see if there was anything that they could do.

    Today she called me back and told me they told her that since they show up paid on my CR, there was nothing else they could do..they couldn't vacate, because that would mean the incident didn't happen, which isn't true.

    So I'm bummed about this..I still have a couple of clandestine credit repair things that I'm working on, but this was a big one!

    Anyone have advice, anything I can do? Probably not, but what the heck...
  2. Nave

    Nave Well-Known Member

    Whappen Hurricane,

    Once I found out about it (got a letter in 98 saying they were going to freeze my bank account if I didn't pay).

    You may have something under the guidelines of improper service. I don't know for sure but maybe those with the legalese, like Squawk can shed light. In anycase, I am bummed to hear about that. Welcome back from vacation! <g> I hope it all works out! Peace,

  3. breeze

    breeze Well-Known Member

    Nave is right. Where are the lawyers when you need them???

    breeze (teasing, of course)
  4. LKH

    LKH Well-Known Member

    For what it's worth, why don't you call the manager again and ask to her to find out if they will ignore and not answer if you dispute it. They may claim that they can't change it, but they sure can ignore it.
  5. LKH

    LKH Well-Known Member

    Actually, that won't work for the public record. Sorry. If you didn't know about the judgment, that means that you probably were not served properly. My suggestion would be to get the court file, look for the affidavits of service to see how they claim to have served you. If it isn't correct, you can file a motion to vacate based on improper service. That's about all I can come up with for now, but I'll keep thinking and check with any atty friend.
  6. hurricane5

    hurricane5 Well-Known Member

    Thanks to all for the replies and support. In a situation like this, who actually tells the court what to do? Would it be the apt. complex telling the atty to file suit? or is the atty free to do whatever they want? I'm asking because if the apt. complex can tell the atty to get rid of the judgement(s) then they have to do it, or don't they??? I think the manager at the complex was actually sorry for me, but I don't think she had too much control over the situation...she even recommended I add a statement to my CR about the circumstances behind the judgement..but I'm not comfortable doing that, and I don't think that any creditors read those things anyway, especially in the era of FICO scores.....

    BTW, service was done by putting the papers on the apt door...of course I hadn't lived there in about 4 months, but I was stupid and didn't leave them a forwarding address...

    Thanks again!..
  7. LKH

    LKH Well-Known Member

    In Arizona, an eviction can be posted on the front door. The management can then get a judgment for that months rent only. In order to sue for the remainder of a lease balance, that would not be good service. I would suggest you find out what your state rules of civil procedure say about this. I know in Arizona this would be a valid reason to have the judgment overturned.
  8. dlo64

    dlo64 Well-Known Member

  9. bbauer

    bbauer Banned


    You are exactly right.

    On top of that and for the benefit of others, when dealing with any kiind of judgement, the best way to get rid of the judgement is to do exactly as LKH has said.

    Go down to the courthouse and check out the records for proper service as well as all other required affidavits. What is required is to be found in the book named Rules of Civil Procedure.

    If you can find any significant variance in what they filed in your particular judgement case, you may very well be able to go back into court by filing your own motion for summary judgement or doing whatever is called for in the Rules of Civil Procedure in your state.

    If you find error(s) of sufficient magnitude to give probable cause, then you can move forward with a reasonable degree of certainty that you can get the judgement reversed.

    There is no statute of limitations on the time alloted for you to find reason to demand that the judgement be vacated. The statute of limitations on such begins on the day you discovered the error(s) (whatever they may be) and runs for 2 years after that time. Of course, it should be most difficult for the opposition to determine when you first discovered the error(s), so for all practical purposes, there is no statute of limitations for you to file your motion(s)

    You should also check out the statute(s) of void judgements in your local law library. This will also give you some valuable insights into how to proceed and why.

    Once you have determined that you may have grounds for filing motion for summary judgement, you should contact an attorney and get him to prepare the paperwork for filing in court even if you plan to go pro se or propia persona in your actual filing. Just trying to muddle through it yourself is never a good idea no matter how well you might think you are prepared to do so.
    Once you have a few cases under your belt, that might be different. And if you can't afford an attorney or simply don't want to spend the money or can't get an attorney who wants to do it for you, then at least go to a local law school and ask the professor of law to put you onto one of his advanced students to give you some help. Don't try to do it alone.

    It's quite different when dealing with the collection agencies and credit bureaus and creditors.
    If you can make them believe that you are actually going to file suit without your going to the courthouse and filing the papers, then so much the better. The difference is that you are playing poker with them so to speak. If you can bluff well enough, your bluff can win. If not, then it's far better to get some legal help before you go to the courthouse.

    Those who are filing their own legal papers in court have most likely done it one or more times in the past, they have done their homework and learned how to do it. They can proceed with confidence. If you don't have the same study and experience they do, then either do the homework or get some help

    Good post, LKH
  10. tom65432

    tom65432 Well-Known Member

    If they cannot find you and make a reasonable effort to do so, they can serve you by advertising in the local paper, at least in most states. There should be an affidavit in the file telling what efforts they made to find you. If they can convince the Judge that their efforts were fair, then you have been served. To overcome this, you would have to show their efforts were not reasonable.
  11. zcraws33

    zcraws33 Well-Known Member

    since LIENS are public records, would a lien be handled in the manner listed above also?
  12. bbauer

    bbauer Banned

    Publication in a local paper is valid in lots if not all baliwicks. But another question is how many times was it published and what do the rules of civil procedure say about publication in your state. Each time that it is published, there should be an affidavit of publication. If the required number of affidavits are not present, then it don't make any difference how many times they claimed it was published in court.

    The affidavits must be there in the court record in most jurisdictions.
  13. godaddyo

    godaddyo Well-Known Member

    This is how to get judgements removed.

    1. Dispute at least twice with the CRAs reporting the information. Just tell them it is an invalid entry, dont give a reason except a generic "please verify" . If this doesnt work go to step 2.

    2.Like everyone else has mentioned. An improper service is an improper service. They will more than likely reopen the judgemnet on the grounds that you never knew of the suit.

    3. Vacating the Order can be a very effective technique, especially if the creditor is not in the position to repeat the process.The rules of judgement service are different in every state so this may not work, but its a good idea to try it anyway. Go to the local office supply store and purchase an Order Vacating Judgement form. Just remember that you are the defendant in the this action and you should always reference the index number of the judgement, as well as the county and state where the judgement was made. The clerks at the courthouse will may be able to help you file this document and get this whole ball rolling. You may get the judgement removed because of a mistake(such as the amount is wrong) or because you have a reasonable excuse for neglecting the entire incident. For instance, when you have reasons beyond your control helped a default judgement go against you. Not being aware of the suit is a good reason. Maybe you didnt have time to get legal representation, due to the fact you were out of state.

    However, I must specify one thing. I have never paid the judgement first, then tried any of these techniques. I realize that at the time you didnt know any better, so you did the best that you could. Keep in mind that everything is negotiable if the dollar amount is high enough. In your case it probably was if they were willing to sue over it.
  14. breeze

    breeze Well-Known Member


    This (quoted below) is not a law, it is just their point of view. If the lawyer who got the judgment for them is willing to sign, agreeing to have the judgment vacated, the court will vacate it.

    I would appeal to the lawyer, on the basis that you were taken advantage of by your roommate. Depending on the state, there may actually be downloadable forms online for this. Look on you state's court website.

    Another (better) approach would be to retain a lawyer in the same city as the landlord's lawyer to have it vacated for you. (Mine cost about $400.) The lawyers usually know each other, and will do it for each other if you have a reasonable explanation for what happened.

  15. godaddyo

    godaddyo Well-Known Member

    I was wondering about this also. Since this judgement is paid, does this person even have this option. Can they vacate a judgement that has been paid, without there being reason such as a mistake of some sort? Just wondering, I have never been in this situation, with the judgement already paid by the defendant. Do the same rules apply for paid judgements?.....Also since they already have what they want, there is little motivation on the plaintiffs part.....
  16. breeze

    breeze Well-Known Member

    It doesn't matter. Mine is paid also.

    Get a lawyer who knows the other lawyer. They do each other favors.

  17. godaddyo

    godaddyo Well-Known Member

    Tell me what happened in your situation. Email me private if you want. I am just curious. Pleeeeeese?

    PS you give great advice at yahoo, I love reading your posts....
  18. breeze

    breeze Well-Known Member

    Awwwwww thanks, daddy-o <blush>. So do you.

    About the judgment - I don't mind posting it - I have posted it before but can't remember where, LOL.

    Mine was really a dispute with an optometrist, who gave me glasses and contacts that I couldn't see with. This was in 1995. I had already paid him $400, still owed $200. We were going back and forth for a while about it.

    One day I get home and there is a warrant in debt for this fastened to my door. I called the lawyer, and told him what the problem was, he said "tough sh*t, you still owe the money." I said "We'll see what the judge says."

    Well, two days before the court date, my Mom was hospitalized. She was 110 mi away. I felt I should go be with her. So I took cash money to the lawyer's office and said "something has come up and I can't be in court. Here's your money, cancel the court date please." He (his secretary) promised they would cancel the court date. I went to be with my Mom. I thought that was the end of it.

    I'm sure you can guess most of the rest of the story. The lawyer did not cancel the court date, and got a judgment against me by default for the disputed debt after I had paid it. And, I knew nothing about it.

    I moved, to be near my Mom, whose health was beginning to decline. The next summer I found out about the judgment, and contacted the lawyer's office. They wouldn't do anything except that they did send me a letter stating that the debt was paid, and said to keep it and use it whenever I needed it. They also promised to send the letter to the court, to change the status of the judgment to "paid."
    There was nothing about this on any of my credit reports.

    Then, Oct 2000, I got turned down for medical financing. I checked on everything, and the judgment had showed up on TU as unpaid. I jumped through a bunch of hoops trying to get it changed to paid. The lawyer's office said they no longer had the records, The court said they never got the letter changing the status. By this time, this was the biggest ding on my credit report, and it was a major problem since I am an insurance agent.

    I retained a lawyer in that city (where all this happened) and he assured me he could take care of it. I sent him a check for $400 this past Jan. He sat on it for 4 months, then claimed he couldn't find the court record (he had the docket number!!). Finally after some harrassment, he got the court record, wrote the other lawyer, got his signature, and set up a court date - it was this past Fri, July 6th.

    I got a copy yesterday of a letter from him to the other lawyer saying the court had misplaced the original "order to vacate", and would he please sign it again. LOL It never ends!!!

    So, I am expecting it to be vacated in the next week or so.

    In the meantime, when the lawyer found the court record, he found the letter changing the status to "paid." The court had never recorded the change, just put the letter in my file. But even then, the lawyer did not ask them to change it. I had to call and argue with the court clerk to get it changed to "paid." - She insisted they never make mistakes!!!

    So, that's the story. If I didn't laugh, I'd cry. :)

  19. bbauer

    bbauer Banned


    Have you ever thought about filing a complaint against the lawyer with the local Bar Association?

    It might be worth looking into. After all, he did you wrong by going to court after you paid in full at his office, didn't he?
  20. breeze

    breeze Well-Known Member

    For what?


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