Atlanta, GA asked in Collections for North Carolina

Q: I received notice of judgment regarding old credit card debt. What do I do next? I didn’t get the original summons.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Lynn Ellen Coleman
Lynn Ellen Coleman
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: I assume this is a lawsuit to renew a previous judgment that was obtained a little less than 10 years ago? You need to contact an attorney in your area directly for assistance. It would be very helpful to that attorney if you retrieved a complete copy of the court file on the original Judgment especially the Summons that was served and the proof of service and provided it to the attorney. Service of a summons is proper if it was left with (or signed for if served by FedEx or certified mail) someone who resided with you of suitable age, which means basically anyone over the age of 12 years old under North Carolina case law. I can tell you that 90%+ of people who tell me they were never served, were actually legally served. many of those people claim they were never served because they forgot about something that happened nearly 10 years ago, but the court file shows they were actually personally served by a Sheriff deputy. If the summons was served by mail or FedEx at an address where you did not reside and you have prooof you did not reside there at the time (this is often difficult to obtain 10 years later), you have some valid legal defenses and you need help from an attorney to present those defenses. Your options are to ignore it and live wiht it for another 10 years and be at risk to have non exempt property taken, to settle the judgment, or to file for bankruptcy. Eah has its pros and cons and it is not possible to give specific advice to you about your situation on an online forum like this.

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