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Court Judgments and The Motion to Vacate: Could This Really Work for Me?

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If you have been mired in debt for months or perhaps even several years, you may have reached the point where it feels like you have no way out. And compounding this, you may have experienced other personal challenges that were the initial cause of financial distress, whether in the form of illness, unemployment or a catastrophic event. While getting back on your feet after being sick or losing your job may be difficult, regaining control of your finances may seem impossible—and especially as delinquencies turn into lawsuits, and lawsuits turn into default or court judgments.

At this point, your best course of action is to reach out for help, consulting with a skilled judgment attorney who can not only help you explore your options, but assist you in following through to a better financial path for the future. Judgments are granted all too often against consumers in the US, and often they may have had a case against the creditor or debt collection agency but did not respond for numerous reasons; in fact, the majority of defendants do not respond or show up in court, and the large corporations suing have grown used to this—along with so many of the courts from state to state that are filled with such cases often ending in the typical ‘automatic judgments.’

And while collections lawsuits may be extremely common, along with the unfortunate and accompanying judgments, the consequences can be further devastating to consumers who are usually already struggling. If you were served a summons and complaint but did not respond, you may now find yourself very worried about having your wages garnished (up to 25 percent of your income), having your funds frozen in your own checking account, or watching your property being seized. Your attorney may suggest several options, including filing for bankruptcysettling the debt, or attempting to have the default judgment dismissed.

You may not have responded to the collections lawsuit or shown up in court, but if you had a sufficient excuse for not doing so, that may be the key to reversing the judgment. You may have been ill or serving as caretaker for a family member, were dealing with a serious emergency, could not get off work or were traveling, or perhaps were not served properly or at all. In most cases, the judge would like to give the defendant a chance to be heard, so if your excuse is sold, the attorney may file for a motion to vacate and then move forward to fight the case. You may be asking the creditor or debt collection agency to prove their standing to sue, offer up all the contracts and accounting for the account since its inception, or there may be other issues such as stolen identity or fraud. While the best-case scenario is of course to have the judgment dismissed, if that is not possible, you may find yourself in a good position to negotiate better terms for satisfying the debt—along with shedding the worry of having a portion of your pay taken each month, or your property or funds seized.

Speak with an attorney from Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC as soon as possible to examine your options. Our attorneys have decades of experience in serving clients as they navigate through challenging financial situations, to include student loan issues, bankruptcy, and other debt management processes. We are here to help! Click here to schedule a free 30-minute consultation, call us at (844) 431-3851, or email us at

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