If adefault judgment was entered against me but I had moved out of state 3 years earlier and never received notice, what can I do?

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If adefault judgment was entered against me but I had moved out of state 3 years earlier and never received notice, what can I do?

I left NY state 6 years ago and this judgment was entered 3 years ago while I was living in CA. I only learned of this judgment recently while reviewing my credit report. I never received any notice of this case. And I don’t even recognize the plaintiff’s name, so I have no way of contacting this creditor, whoever it is. I did default on some credit card accounts while living in NY. So I suspect this mystery plaintiff is some kind of debt collection company that purchased my debt from my original creditor. Can I fight this judgment? If not, do I have any other options?

Asked on August 3, 2011 Illinois

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You can fight this judgment claiming that you were never personally served with the summons and complaint,were not properly subserved or not served by written publication. These are your options to contest the entered default judgment against you.

To decide how you wish to attack the default judgment, you need to pull the court's file to see how you were supposedly served with the summons and complaint. There should be a proof of service as to the summons and complaint in the court's file telling you how the summons and complaint was supposedly served upon you.

Depending upon what the proof of service says, you attack the judgment with a motion to vacate it and set it aside if: 1. you were not personally served with the summons and complaint; the subservice was defective in that the third person served did not reside at the address you resided at and there was no mailing to you of the summons and complaint to perfect the sub-service; 3. any order for publication of the summons and complaint upon you through a newspaper is defective stating specific reasons.

Setting aside default judgments after the passage of several years is a challenge.

You should consider consulting with an attorney to discuss your options in greater detail.

Good luck.


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