You have been served with a default judgment? Is important to know your rights and what to do next
If you find yourself in a situation where you didn’t file your answer on time or the court rejected your answer and the plaintiff requested a default judgment against you, don’t despair. There may be hope yet.
What is a Default Judgment?
Default Judgment may occur when the defendant does not respond to the Summons by the deadline. In most cases, you must file an answer to the complaint or Petition within 30 days of being served. If you do not respond, the plaintiff can request a default judgment from the court. This means that the creditor or plaintiff wins by default because you failed to appear or respond.
Even though you may feel like giving up, there is still a chance to appeal the default judgment by filing a motion to set aside the judgment and order. This motion allows you to have another opportunity to be heard and could potentially set the lawsuit back in motion. Don’t give up hope just yet!
File Your Motion to Set Aside Judgment
Filing a motion to set aside judgment is a way to let the court know why you were unable to file an answer, why your answer was filed late, or why you were unable to appear at the hearing. The court won’t accept just any excuse, so it is important to include one or more of the following claims that are commonly accepted by courts:
- Due to a mistake, surprise, excusable neglect, or inadvertence
- Judgment has been satisfied, released, or discharged
- The statute of limitations for the lawsuit passed
- The Petition or Complaint contained mistakes or was filed incorrectly
- You were improperly served
Why should the court set aside it’s previous ruling? You can explain this in your motion. Keep it short and to the point. You may want to request a hearing. In some courts, the hearing will be mandatory. Check with the Clerk of Court before filing, to find out if a hearing is scheduled after you file your motion.
To set aside a judgment, you must file a motion and an order with the court. The motion is your request to the judge for a specific ruling, and the order expresses the Court’s decision on your motion. You need to provide the court with both documents. Your order should include a signature and date block for the judge to sign and the date when the motion is accepted.
You can win your debt lawsuit by responding in a timely and effective manner.
Here’s a Quick Recap of the Steps:
Step 1: Draft your motion to set aside the judgment and the order.
Step 2: To file a Motion in Court, you will need to speak with the Clerk of Court to find out the associated costs. This is also an opportunity to determine if you may qualify for a fee waiver. Be sure to ask about the court’s accepted forms of payment.
Step 3: To find out if your court accepts e-filing, contact the court directly or check the website. If e-filing is not an option, confirm the mailing address and mail the documents along with payment to the court.
Step 4: Be sure to send a copy of these documents to the plaintiff as soon as you have given them to the court.
Once Your Motion to Set Aside and Order are Granted:
- If you haven’t already, you may have a chance to file an answer in response to the complaint or petition. Filing an answer doesn’t have to be complicated. You’re simply responding to the allegations or assertions made in the original document.
- If you have the opportunity to schedule a hearing, it may be a good idea to do so. This way, you can tell the court how some of the reasons listed above prevented you from filing your answer on time. Make sure to appear on the scheduled date or notify the Clerk of Court if you need to reschedule. The last thing you want is to miss the hearing again.
When you receive a default judgment, it can feel like you have no power and no hope. But there are ways to fight back – and with these tips and strategies, you can get your voice heard and give yourself a chance to win your case.Clearone Advantage, Credit Associates, Credit 9, Americor Funding, Tripoint Lending, Lendvia, Simple Path Financial, New Start Capital, Point Break Financial, Sagemore Financial, Money Ladder, Advantage Preferred Financial, LoanQuo, Apply.Credit9, Mobilend