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Excusable Neglect and the Court Judgment

Judge's Gavel

You might be extremely organized in many areas of your life, but if your finances have been a source of difficulty lately, you may find that bills lately have been going unpaid due to necessity, and an aggressive gang of debt collectors has become a major source of unpleasantness in your life. Most of us experience ups and downs throughout life, and whether those fluctuations are caused by finances, they are almost always affected.

Like many in the US today, you may find yourself working many hours per week, but with little to show for it at the end. As the cost of living rises but increases in wages do not keep up, you may find it challenging to keep up with a hefty mortgage or climbing rent, along with all the accompanying bills like utilities, maintenance, and more. Medical care and medicine, food, gas, and more, must be priorities as well—and when things get tight, paying bills may be in order of priority. This means that credit cards and other debts, even to include student loans, may have to wait. You may find that creditors and loan servicers are surprisingly patient at first upon learning that you are going to be late on one or two payments. If delinquencies are not up to date quickly though, you will inevitably find yourself at the mercy of collection agencies who want you to pay up so they can get paid.

If you are unable to pay, a process server may be knocking at the door before you know it, delivering a summons and complaint for you to appear in court regarding the debt. At this point, your best move is to consult with an experienced law firm like Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC. An attorney will be able to help you file a response and move forward. If you are not able to act quickly enough though and a judgment is filed against you, there are still options.

In fighting the judgment, a skilled judgment attorney will be able to win a motion to vacate through proving excusable neglect as the reason why you did not respond before the lawsuit went to court. Along with excusable neglect, other reasons a motion to set aside the judgment may be granted are mistake, inadvertence, and surprise. If the plaintiff filed the lawsuit under fraudulent pretenses or may be guilty of misrepresentation or misconduct, this information may also be brought forth.

In offering excusable neglect as a reason for the judge to grant a motion to vacate, you must be giving a valid excuse. You may have been sick, recuperating from an accident, unable to leave work, or completely unaware of the lawsuit altogether. Once that has been established, your attorney will explain why you also have a valid defense against the creditor. You may find that during these actions the plaintiff bows out altogether, or suddenly becomes highly motivated to settle.

Judge's gavel

If you are interested in exploring ways to eliminate debt or settle a judgment, contact the attorneys at Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC. We can review your current situation, answer your questions, and help you move forward. Our judgment attorneys have decades of experience representing clients in California, and we are here to help you!

Call us today for a free consultation at (844) 431-3851, or email us at

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