What are my rights if I just received a letter stating thatI have a judgment against me but I was never informed of such a case?

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What are my rights if I just received a letter stating thatI have a judgment against me but I was never informed of such a case?

In the mail I received a letter saying I have a judgment against me for a car I voluntarily returned in 2008! I have not heard a thing until yesterday. The letter says the summons and complaint were served on me 2 months ago. That is not the case. If I was contacted I would have worked something out. Now that a judgment is against me, do I have any legal rights because I wasn’t ever contacted? What course of action should I take?

Asked on September 27, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Judgment by default was entered because an answer to the complaint was not timely filed with the court. 

You should file with the court a motion to set aside the default. It should be filed with the court with an attached proof of service and served by mail on the opposing party.  Your argument supporting your motion to set aside the default is that you never received notice because you were never served with the summons and complaint and therefore could not have timely filed an answer to the complaint.

If the judge grants your motion to set aside the default, the case will then be back on track and litigation will continue.


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