What canI do if a judgement was obtained against me but I was never served with a summons to court?

A judgement was granted against me about 8 months ago to a third party debt collector, an attorney. I was not in court because I had no knowledge of the court date. Is this legal? They garnished my checking account. The judge would only say that I was subpoenaed but I not. I had no clue.

Asked on July 24, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Florida


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

What happened is that you were sued - the creditor hired someone to prepare "pleadings" which is a Summons and Complaint - and they state that you were "served" - someone gave you the paperwork or sent you the paperwork as per the law in your state.  What happened next is that you did not file an "answer" to the "complaint" and they took a "default judgement" against you.  What you have to do is make a motion to "vacate" the default and open the matter up again.  You need to ask for a stay of the garnishment. You have to go down to the courthouse and check the court papers to see how and where they served you.  Be aware that if there was an "official" address on file with the state - like on your driver's license - and you did not change it to a current address they could still serve you there as valid.  You may need some help with all of this. Good luck.  

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