If Iwas never served but had a judgment granted against me in another state, cana creditorstill collect?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If Iwas never served but had a judgment granted against me in another state, cana creditorstill collect?

I owed a friend money when we lived together in FL. He took out a credit card and allowed me to use it to repay a debt. There was timeframe to repay and I was making monthly payments to the credit card company. Eventually he asked for the full amount which I did not have. He made me write an agreement and sign it and made me leave his house. He sold all of my belongings and got money from the credit card company since he claimed I stole his identity. He filed a suit in MD but I live in TX and never was served but he still obtained a judgment against me. How is that possible and can he collect?

Asked on October 18, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It is possible that you were served by publication.  Since you and your friend resided in different states, if he didn't know your address, he could have notice of the lawsuit published in a newspaper's legal notices section for a period of time which varies from state to state to comply with service by publication.  If that is what occurred, the newspaper in which the notice occurred could have been a local newspaper in his area.  Even if you never saw the notice in the newspaper, this is still considered valid service.  Then, when you didn't respond because you never saw the notice, he got a default judgment against you.  Based on this alone he could collect; however, you can challenge this by  filing a motion to set aside the default and filing an answer to the complaint.  The complaint is the lawsuit. You could also file a lawsuit against him for fraud because of the false claim that you stole his identity.  You also should inform the credit card company about the fraud perpetrated by your friend.  The credit card company and you could be plaintiffs in a lawsuit for fraud against your friend.  You could have someone in MD go to the court where his lawsuit was filed and look at the file to see what occurred with the service of process and other matters in the case.  If you know the case number, that person could ask the court clerk to see the file.  If you don't know the case number, the person could look in the plaintiff/defendant index in the court's computer to obtain the case number by looking for either your name under defendants or your friend's name under plaintiffs.  Once the person has the case number, he or she can ask the court clerk for the file.  The file cannot be removed from the court, but the court clerk can photocopy the file or any part of the file you want to see. 


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption