What to do if I have discovered a judgement against me for a credit card debt that I was never notified of?

I have discovered a judgement against me for a credit card debt on my record. Upon reading the court documents on-line it came to my attention that an affidvant of service was not served upon me but instead a false name was used with a physical description that does not fit me and declared this person was a co-resident at my home address. This was filed with the court. I never new I had a court date to defend myself. What are my legal options?

Asked on September 8, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, South Carolina


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

A default judgment was entered against you based on the false claim that you had been served and did not timely file an answer to the complaint.  The complaint is the lawsuit attached to the summons. 

You can file a motion to set aside the default.  The argument in support of your motion is that you were not served with the summons and complaint and therefore did not have an opportunity to timely file an answer to the complaint with the court and serve a copy on the opposing party.  You should also include in your argument the opposing party's false claim that you were served.  If the court grants your motion to set aside the default, the case will then be back on track and litigation will continue.  You will need to be properly served with the summons and complaint.

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The judgement, then, was granted on default, correct?  That is because no one appeared.  If you were not properly served with the paperwork then you should make a Motion to Vacate the default.  You need to attack the affidavit of service.  Was there a co resident at the time you lived at the address in question?  How else can you attack the affidavit?  You generally need what is known as an Affidavit of Meritorious Defense to vacate the default.  That is an affidavit that states that you have a defense tot he case that would have possibly changed the outcome.  And make sure that not too much time has passed either to make the motion.  That can happen  as well.  Good luck.

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