Must a default judgment for a debt be signed by a judge?

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Must a default judgment for a debt be signed by a judge?

About 3 years ago I was contacted by a lawyer regarding an outstanding credit card debt. At that time I was struggling financially and was sending letters back and forth to come to an agreement on payment arrangements; they were demanding more than what I could afford. Long story short they filed a default judgment but nothing happened after that. I never heard from them again until 3 weeks ago when they sent a letter asking for payment arrangements. I looked back at the default judgment and saw that the paperwork was not signed by a judge. It looks as though it was never brought before a judge. It was just signed by one of the attorneys. Is that legal?

Asked on July 30, 2011 Arizona

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Most default judgments are signed by a judge or a "judge pro tem" (attorney sitting as a judge). In all likelihood, in your situation there is a default judgment entered against you and signed by a judge. The paperwork that you received is probably documents signed by an attorney pertaining to a levy upon your assets so that the judgement against you can be satisfied.

Since you have a default judgment against you that is several years old, there is a good chance that you will be unable to set it aside. Since most likely you will be unable to set it aside, you should make inquiries of the judgment creditor's attorney to be placed on a payment plan so that you can pay down the judgment on terms that you can afford.

Good luck.

 

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Most default judgments are signed by a judge or a "judge pro tem" (attorney sitting as a judge). In all likelihood, in your situation there is a default judgment entered against you and signed by a judge. The paperwork that you received is probably documents signed by an attorney pertaining to a levy upon your assets so that the judgement against you can be satisfied.

Since you have a default judgment against you that is several years old, there is a good chance that you will be unable to set it aside. Since most likely you will be unable to set it aside, you should make inquiries of the judgment creditor's attorney to be placed on a payment plan so that you can pay down the judgment on terms that you can afford.

Good luck.

 


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