If you set aside the judgment, is the collection lawsuit still pending against you?
You’ve been sued by a debt collector, but you were never served.
Now there’s a judgment against you.
You go to court to attack that judgment because you were not served.
The judge agrees with you and the judgment goes away.
When the judgment goes away, does the lawsuit also go away?
No. The lawsuit is still there.
The judgment sits on top of the lawsuit.
So, although the judgment is gone, there is still a pending lawsuit underneath.
Even if the lawsuit is 5 or 10 years old, it is still pending.
We’ve even had cases where we set aside judgments from nearly 18 years ago.
The older the judgment, the less likely it is that the collector would try to fight this.
If the judgment is only six months old, the person that sued you would likely still try to prove their case.
If it has been 6, 12, or 18 years since the judgment, it is much harder for the company to prove anything.
This whole time, they’ve been thinking, “Oh, we’ve got this judgment. We have nothing to worry about.”
They should have looked carefully and seen that you were not properly served.
If they had noticed that you were not properly served, they would know that you have the ability to attack the judgment for lack of service.
Understand that this is only the first part of the battle.
You’ve gotten rid of the judgment, and that’s huge.
No judgment means no garnishment, no lien, no sheriff’s sale of your home.
But, there is still a pending lawsuit.
Once the judgment is set aside, the collection lawyers typically want peace.
When we file our motion, we present all of our evidence.
If we can show that there was no proper service, the collection lawyer is usually very eager to have peace and calls to say, “It looks like you got us on this one. Let’s agree to set this aside and dismiss it. Let’s do a mutual agreement.”
Basically, this agreement just means that there is peace between the two parties.
No one is suing anyone, no money is exchanged, and everybody leaves each other alone.
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