Vacating a Satisfied Judgment

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by rodman, Feb 10, 2003.

  1. rodman

    rodman Member

    Can a satisfied judgment be vacated? I had a credit card debt with a credit union and missed two payments and they served papers and demanded full payment. Before going to court, I was able to contact the creditor and make a verbal agreement to pay 50% of the bill and then make continuing regular payments after that which I did.

    They issued a continuance and then notified me that everything was ok and they would take care of that. That was the last I heard of it until about few months ago (3 years later). I had been paying on this account and had actually paid it off about two years ago.

    In looking at my credit report, I found one that said judgment and two others that said satified judgment. I've contacted the creditor and they said they goofed and filed papers to have it vacated and it was denied. I also tried it and was denied. We were both told that since the judgment was satisfied it could not be vacated? It doesn't seem right to either one of us, especially since they acknowledge they goofed and both of us have no objection to seeing it vacated.

    Has anyone heard of anything like this in Southern California before? This seems a little strange to me and I'm guessing I'm missing something.
  2. Epitomee

    Epitomee Well-Known Member

    It appears as if the judgment was granted to the company. A continuance can only be granted for a certain period of time. At which time, they can dismiss the case, request a stipulated judgment, or request a judgment. The company screwed you and now they are acting like they did not do anything. I am in a similar situation in New York State and now I am suffering the consequences. Call the courthouse and request a sealed copy of the judgment and the satisfaction. I am in California and the form should be a smc-100 (plaintiff statement) and see what they typed on the form and also see if there was a proper serve.
  3. smontoya5

    smontoya5 Well-Known Member

    My hubby and I had a judgment filed against us in 1997. We paid it off within 5 months.

    We were trying to get an auto loan about a year or so afterwards and needed proof from the court it was satisfied. We contacted the opposing attorney and he went to the judge and got a "satisfaction- release of judgment".

    What I didn't notice until a few months ago- the attorney also motioned for a dismissal and to vacate the judgment- both approved for and signed by the judge.

    So- yes- a judgment CAN be vacated after payment. Not sure of the ins and outs but it has happened for me.
  4. rodman

    rodman Member

    I was sent a copy of what they sent to the courthouse and it definitely stated to vacate the judgment. What really hurts is that until it vacates it just kills my FICO score and my credit report. If the court would get this right, I would probably get a 30 point FICO rise overnight.
  5. Buckets

    Buckets Well-Known Member

    I frankly would consult a probate attorney that does a lot of work in that courthouse and see what they think. Remember, a consultation is free. It cost me $125 to have a judgement vacated in my case and it too was satisfied before it was vacated. The only problem was that when my paid/satisfied judgement was vacated and that record subsequently removed from my credit report, to be honest with you, my credit score went down! So don't get your hopes up that your credit score will get an immediate 30 point bump.

  6. rodman

    rodman Member

    Why would getting something bad off of your public record and off your credit report cause a decrease in the FICO? It makes no sense to me.
  7. kathycmh

    kathycmh Well-Known Member

    Hi Buckets,
    What were the grounds used for asking the court to vacate?

    My husband has a paid judgment and I have been looking everywhere for a "reason" to give the court for vacating.
  8. kathycmh

    kathycmh Well-Known Member

    Perhaps this was one of your oldest accounts? And when it was deleted it shortened your credit history? That's the only thing I can think off...
  9. patentatty

    patentatty Well-Known Member

    I'll second that post about scores going down after a judgement is vacated. I helped a friend vacate a judgement and he dropped about 25 pts after it was removed. The best rationale for this that I can imagine is that maybe there's something built into the score that accounts for people that are trying to clean up their credit. That's just my best shot at the reason for the score drop.

    For the other poster, the most common reasons to use for vacating a judgement are "deficient service of process" and "accord and satisfaction". A search on this board for either of these terms should bring up more information.

  10. Buckets

    Buckets Well-Known Member

    The judgement that was vacated was not a collection so to speak. It was a small claims court decision. I sold a gentleman something on eBay and then he wanted his money back. I said "no." The court decided in his favor and I paid him outside the court room and told him to talk a long walk off a short pier. Well, some years later I checked my credit reports for the first time and noticed that I had something under the public records area and it showed that I had not paid the guy. I was ticked, to say the very least.

    I contacted the court, they told me I needed the guy's signature one some form proving I paid. Well, I basically told the guy off and some time had passed and I worried whether he would sign it or not. I found his number and called but found out that the poor guy died. Now what? I went back to the clerk of courts and she said that I could bring proof in (a canceled check) and they would show it as judgement satisfied, but it would not be removed from my credit report. I sifted through the records of the court proceeding and found that the judge was vague as whether or not a judgement was issued against me or not. In other words, I really wasn't found guilty. I was just supposed to pay the guy back and he was supposed to return my merchandise (which he never did). The judge signed off on it and it was vacated. Then the hard part was convincing the credit bureaus that a vacated judgement meant that it should be removed from my credit reports (which they ultimately did).

    My advice, pull all the records on the court case and ask a good probate attorney who is very, very close to the court to review the transcripts to see if he or she sees a good reason to vacate. They should be very up front with you. If it's a two bit hack of an attorney, don't even bother. Get one who is well connected. It shouldn't cost more than $100 to $300 depending on the type of judgement. Hope that helps.

  11. tnobles

    tnobles Well-Known Member

    Re: Re: Vacating a Satisfied Judgment

    Now I KNOW you are hawghanner, you and I had a little tiff about this very statement right before you 'went away'. Remember:
  12. kathycmh

    kathycmh Well-Known Member

    Re: Re: Vacating a Satisfied Judgment

    What, if any, input does the attorney for the plaintiff have in the process should a person file a motion to vacate judgment. Bill? Can you help me here?
  13. bbauer

    bbauer Banned

    Re: Re: Vacating a Satisfied Judgment

    I've never seen anything or had any experience with a paid judgment but logic tells me that in the case of a paid judgment he would have everything to do with it and getting his cooperation would be crucial.

    In the case of motion to vacate void judgment there would be nothing at all that he could say. One thing to look for is that it could very well be a void judgment and if so and you file motion to vacate and win he is going to be in an awfully hard situation if you choose to follow up with suit. If the "violations" are sufficiently severe and you pursued the issue sufficiently you might very well be able to actually put him out of business. Being able to take it that far however would probably mean a couple of years or more fighting over it. Most people wouldn't want to go to that much trouble.

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