Defending against Kentucky Default Judgments
Imagine going to work and finding your paycheck short. Heading to the bank and finding the account empty. All too often we hear “How can they take money from my bank account I was never served with a lawsuit. Kentucky Default Judgments can happen without notice in two ways.
First certain creditors can attach wages without a judgment
Student loans, income taxes and certain other debts can attach your wages, bank accounts and property without filing a lawsuit. Most of these debts which can attach assets without a judgment are with the government. They do have to send notice to your last known address. But you may have moved from that address long ago. These attachments are not default judgments.
No court order exists. No lawsuit was ever filed. The government directly attaches assets with these debts. You do have the opportunity to object to the attachment. But if you moved from a prior address you may not get the warning in the mail.
Second Kentucky Default judgments may be based on a Warning Order Attorney
When a creditor cannot easily serve you, or doesn’t know your address he may use what is called a warning order attorney. The court hires an attorney to use his best efforts to locate you. He makes a report to the court that he cannot find you and that he knows of no defenses to the action. Then a default judgment is entered in state court.
Since you didn’t get the contact from the warning order attorney you may not know about the judgment for years. Judgments are good for 20 years and can be renewed over and over. This means the debt may be good for a lifetime. The only way to get rid of it may be to file bankruptcy or pay it.
Debt Collection and Default Judgments.
Debt collection attorneys live and depend on default judgments. They depend in doing as little work as possible to get the judgment. Then they search for assets to attach. It is possible to set aside a default judgment, but it is difficult, and you then have to attempt to get the property back. Default judgments make taking your property as fast, easy, and low cost as it can possibly be. If you are served and you fail to answer a complaint, they simply file a motion for default judgment and the appropriate AOC form.
Some people really are unaware they have been served. Notice of the lawsuit can be by mail, sheriff or by warning order attorney. Debt Collectors can file a motion to obtain a default judgment within 30 days after you were served. The judge will normally allow 30 days for you to respond to the motion for default and will then grant it. Many sources believe about 90 percent of debt collection lawsuits are won by default or summary judgments.
Summary and Default Judgments
Summary judgments are like default judgments. Default judgments means no answer was filed. Summary judgment motions are filed because there is no issue in dispute and the judge may decide the case early. Once judgment is entered collection is simple. The creditor merely executes and sells property. This can include your home, car, wages, bank accounts and even furniture. Discovery can even require a person to appear and testify as to what assets he has.
Default judgments can be vacated by attacking the service as being invalid or by finding other errors in the case. Judges do not like default judgments, but default judgments are just as valid as judgments from a trial of the facts. If you have a reasonable basis for vacating the judgment the judge will set it aside. You will still need to defend the case by filing an answer, issuing discovery, and fighting back. Often filing bankruptcy may be cheaper. However, an experienced attorney that has practiced this for years can defend the case or negotiate a settlement.
Contact us to see what defenses you have or to negotiate with the debt collector.