What can be done about a judgement against you? 13 Answers as of April 05, 2011

I am in default of a credit card due to job loss. I was summoned to court for a credit card my 15 year old daughter signed for. Is this legal? I thought the arbitration date was the court date to appear, so I missed the court date. I went to my bank yesterday and was told my account had been frozen due to this creditor and the amount was 18K over the actual amount owed. What can I do?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Financial Relief Law Center
Financial Relief Law Center | Mark Alonso
Unfortunately your opportunity to address the issues passed on the court date and now that the judgment is entered. There are also other issues as to how did your 15 year old get the credit card, and did she commit fraud to do so. At this point you could try to vacate the judgment, but it may be costly to have an attorney to this for you. Bankruptcy may be your best option as it will put a stop to collection on this judgment and wipe out your other credit card/unsecured debt.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/5/2011
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
The burden is on you to set aside the judgment and you have to do so by proving an error and that you would have won but for the mistake. I cannot say whether your defense is enough without more information. Credit Card companies typically don't give credit cards to minors unless you are the primary user, or cosigned. Moreover, you may have reaffirmed the agreement by using the credit card yourself.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 3/28/2011
Gus Johnson Attorney at Law
Gus Johnson Attorney at Law | Gus Johnson
You could probably discharge the debt in bankruptcy, you might also have state law remedies. Only an attorney licenced to practice in your state can provide a comprehansive explanation of your options.
Answer Applies to: South Dakota
Replied: 3/28/2011
The Carmichael Firm
The Carmichael Firm | Booker Carmichael
You can immediately stop the law suit and the bank freeze with a bankruptcy filing. Call my office to get started.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 3/28/2011
DiManna Law Office, LLC.
DiManna Law Office, LLC. | Dawn DiManna
You do have some options, but you need to consult with an attorney as there are more questions that need to be answered regarding the original debt, when the debt was incurred, and what remedy the credit card company requested that the court ordered.
Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
Replied: 3/28/2011
    Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed
    Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed | Robert Weed
    Most courts cut you very little slack if you miss a court day. It also sounds like you would have lost even if you went to court, because you admit you owe the money. (What do you mean your 15 year old daughter signed for. Did she forge your name to a $15,000 charge??? Anyway, you missed your chance to fight that.) The law provides a way out for people in your situation and it's called bankruptcy. You really need to talk to a lawyer and carefully consider bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    Sounds like you already have a judgment against you and the creditor has levied your account. It would be legal for your account to be levied if there is a judgment against you issued by the court. That is one way to enforce a judgment. A 15-year old cannot enter into a contract. I think you are saying that your 15-year old daughter signed your name on the credit card application and impersonated you. You had an opportunity to defend yourself in court but failed to attend the trial. When you do not go to court then the judge has no choice but to issue judgment for the creditor since it is assumed that by not showing up you have accepted the allegations in the lawsuit as true. It would have been interesting to hear how you could explain to the judge that your 15-year old daughter was able to obtain a credit card in your name and charge so much without your knowledge and permission. If that is what happened then your minor daughter was committing a crime and could be prosecuted for fraud. You would still be liable up to a certain level for the acts of a minor child. There seems to be more to this story that was revealed in your question. The bottom line is that what the creditor is doing is legal and that you might have to file for bankruptcy relief. You might still be able to get the money back if you move very quickly. Another option is to go to the court that issued the judgment urgently and ask the court to vacate the judgment but most likely this will cost you more in attorneys' fees than filing for bankruptcy if that is an option depending on your situation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Burnham & Associates
    Burnham & Associates | Stephanie K. Burnham
    Your best option is to see an attorney. Once a Judgment enters, the Court will not revisit the case. You may need to file Bankruptcy or pay the debt but you will need very specific legal advice.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Law Office of Eric Ridley
    Law Office of Eric Ridley | Eric Ridley
    In many jurisdictions parents are statutorily liable for the bad acts of their children, so, based on the facts you present here, this is likely legal and legitimate. It sounds as though the creditor placed a litigation hold on your account, and that you have already had a default entered against you. Your options at this point are limited, but include: 1. Negotiate (or have your attorney negotiate) with the creditor, to see if they will accept a reduced settlement, 2. Consider bankruptcy. It will stop execution on the judgment and give you some leverage in terms of dealing with the creditor. Most important, you need to retain an attorney immediately. More delay could seriously prejudice your rights and ability to limit the damage this event has caused.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    Bankruptcy may be your best option. Talk to a bankruptcy attorney before you do anything. 15 year old cannot contract in Alabama.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    You could file a bankruptcy to discharge the debt. However, the money levied from your account might not be recoverable.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
    What you can and should do depends on what assets you have and the collection laws of your state. You should consider bankruptcy as an option as well. I would suggest contacting a bankruptcy attorney in your area for a consult.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis | Todd Mannis
    Was there a judgment entered? If so, you could try to vacate the judgment, and then contest it, which probably isn't promising. If that does not work, which I do not suspect that it will, you will have to pay it, which might be difficult due to your loss of employment, or you can bankrupt it. I'm thinking that is the most likely scenario here. Should you have any other questions, or desire a free consultation, feel free to contact me.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/28/2011
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney