Have you had a judgment filed against you? If you did, there is a chance you can get it “vacated” dismissed or. The act of vacating a judgment is basically putting the judgment in suspense. By filing a motion to vacate a judgment you are essentially filing an appeal to the court on the case. You should file a motion to dismiss a judgment if the outcome was not fair, and you have a good reason as to why the court should overturn its prior ruling. Do not be intimidated by challenging a court ruling as this happens all of the time. A majority of the collection agencies that try to place judgements don’t follow the law. You may wonder then why the Judge didn’t know about this during the initial hearing. More than likely, the Judge overhearing the judgement case doesn’t specialize in this type of law. A Judge overhearing a small claims case may not fully understand consumer law. Most Judges know the basics, but no one person can know everything. Most judges need to look up and study states statutes and case rulings before deciding on a case. The defendant failed to respond to the court summons with the proper paperwork in the allowed period of time. The defendant failed to appear for their court date. This is called winning by default. If you did happen to miss your court date and a Judgement was filed against you, you may still be ok. If you feel that you had a good reason for not showing for the “show cause” hearing and the court agrees with you then you might be able to get the judgement vacated. You should file your motion at the same court which granted the judgment in the first place. The clerk should know exactly what needs to be done with your paperwork. Sometimes they can answer your questions but other times they will tell you to hire a lawyer to help you to prepare the legal documents. You should make certified copies of your motion to vacate filing and send them to the original plaintiff. Send the letters by certified mail return receipt requested. This will guarantee that you have proof the plaintiff was served their papers. Some courts will serve the notice of summons for you. If not, and you need to serve the notice you can hire a third-party service for a nominal fee. Sometimes they offer to settle out of court. If the plaintiff knows that they ran afoul from the laws they will offer to vacate the judgement or from their records. Typically they have no proof of serving your notice to appear or if they have knowingly violated the FDCPA they will just want this case to go away and be done with it. They thrive on attacking people that do not know their own rights. For every one person that fights back, there are 100 that do not. That is how they make their money. A lot of times the original plaintiff will not show up for your hearing and you will win by default! If this happens, you more than likely will not have to present anything to the court and you should be granted your dismissal by default. They do not have proper documentation that you were served in the first place. They are not able to prove that the debt was legal to collect on in the first place. This can be numerous reasons i.e.; unable to show what the correct amount of the debt should be, not able to come up with an original signed contract, or debt is outside of your states statute of limitations. Of course, judgment liens require court action. A creditor will take the homeowner to court where the judge will determine if the homeowner does in fact owe the creditor any money. If the court decides that the creditor is owed the money, and the homeowner will not or cannot make payment, the judge will order that a judgment lien be placed against the property. The judgment lien will then be entered into land records offices for the city or county so that the home cannot be sold without repayment of the debt. A home or property can have numerous liens against it, which may present a problem when the home is to be sold. Fortunately, the law says that liens will be paid off in the order that they were attached to the property, meaning the first lien will be paid first, the second will be paid second, and so on. This is a law that was basically developed for when a home is foreclosed on. If a foreclosed home is auctioned it will first pay off the first lien, then the second, and the third until there is no money left to pay the debts that are still attached or associated with the home. When the economy was good and a debtor owned property, recording one’s judgment lien was sometimes an “automatic” way to get a judgment satisfied. The present economy has removed the majority of the “automatic” feature of recording liens to pay a judgment, however sometimes lien recordings still are (often a very long-term) a way to get a judgment satisfied. How does foreclosure, or other judgment debtor sales of property, effect a judgment creditor having a lien previously recorded on the judgment debtor’s real estate? When a judgment debtor gets behind on paying for their property loan, that is usually bad news for creditors. Yet, sometimes the foreclosure action on a judgment debtor’s property might be good for a judgment owner, potentially raising the chances for a judgment to get paid. An ideal scenario is when one records a judgment lien long before a debtor’s property was foreclosed on, and prior to when the current lender recorded a deed of trust or mortgage. In most states and situations, the first to record a lien is usually the winner, so that makes the lien superior to the mortgage lender.