Legal Question in Credit and Debt Law in California

Abstract of Judgement

I was never served papers and completely unaware of a judgement made against me. I now face an abstract of judgement as a result of not showing up to a court date to defend myself. The judgement was made 17 months ago and I have only now learned of the judgement and the severity of the situation because of an attempt to garnish my wages.

Though the attempt to collect payment through garnished wages has been unsuccessful (because I am an independent contractor), I am concerned about a levy against my bank account. The source of the debt is a small consumer credit debt ($1,400) from 7 or 8 years ago and has been transferred to a collection agency. Due to the fact that the law offices representing the agency have obviously attempted to collect this beyond the statute of limitations in california and never actually served me papers to appear in court I clearly don't trust them.

It is well beyond the appeal deadline, and I just want to put this behind me. I would like to set up a payment program but I don't know who to contact to make the arrangements and I'm afraid to try to work with the law office that has already been shady in their practices.

What is the best way to resolve this once and for all?

Asked on 9/19/08, 6:46 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Michael Stone Law Offices of Michael B. Stone Toll Free 1-855-USE-MIKE
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Re: Abstract of Judgement

If the judgment wasn't served on you, it's void, but you only get one chance to file a motion to have the judgment set aside, and it has to be done correctly.

If the case was filed after the statute of limitations, or you have some other meritorious defense, your chances aren't bad; if you are in SoCal my fees for this service are reasonable, and in a couple of these "zombie debt" cases I have actually gotten money back for the client from the collection agency. But the law requires that you act immediately as soon as you find out about the judgment.

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Answered on 9/19/08, 7:12 pm

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