What to do about a default jugement awarded against my former landlord in which I was also named?

Almost 2 years ago my fiancé and I rented a home from this woman. We signed a lease for a 1 year rental. About 9 months into our lease the bank that held the mortgage on the house came by and told us the house was being foreclosed on. We immediately moved out. Recently the bank called me because they cannot get in contact with our former landlord. I told them we hadn’t heard from her in a year. That was a little unsettling so I went on case net and entered her name and of course the bank was preceding with the foreclosure but our names are listed as defendants along with her and 6 several others who she may have rented to after us. There was a default judgement placed against her and everyone else listed as a defendent including me.

Asked on September 4, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You should move to vacate the default based on the fact that you have a valid defense--as renters, you are not legally responsible for the property owner's failure to pay her mortgage and are not liable for her nonpayments. You cannot be named as a defendant unless there is some factual and legal basis for doing so, and from what you write, there was no such basis. You would be well served by retaining an attorney to help you with this, since the lawyer will know the mechanics of drafting and serving such a motion.


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