What to do if I’m being garnished but was never served?

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What to do if I’m being garnished but was never served?

I am currently being garnished, to which I knew nothing about until I received my paycheck. I contacted my payroll office and received information on it. A day after I got paid I also received information via mail. It turns out that the sherrif, the courts and the garnsihing company never served me at any livable address. The address on the summons was for a business, never an address that I lived, worked at or had any familiarity with. How can I fight/stop this?

Asked on April 25, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Since you were served at the wrong address and didn't know that, you did not have an opportunity to file an answer to the complaint (complaint is the lawsuit attached to the summons) with the court and serve it by mail on the opposing party within the time set forth in the summons.  The opposing party then obtained a default judgment against you when the answer to the complaint was not timely filed.  A default judgment means you have lost the case.  The wage garnishment was obtained to enforce the judgment.

You will need to file with the court a motion to set aside the default and serve a copy of your motion on the opposing party.  Your argument is that you were never served and therefore did not have an opportunity to file an answer to the complaint and therefore the wage garnishment should be halted.  If the judge grants your motion, the weage garnishment should stop and the case should be back on track and litigation will continue and you will have an opportunity to file an answer to the complaint.


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