Q: I have a question about debt collection in California.
My mother was sued by a debt collector in California and had a lien placed on her home. There was no notification and was never served to appear in court. Apparently, the court sent my mother a notification after the fact that she had a judgment filed against her and now has a lien against her home. What can she do to fix this?
Review the court file and do a motion to set aside judgment.
There are strict time deadlines so that you must file your take action or be forever barred from relief.
A: Your mother really has only 3 options to resolve this: 1) a Motion to vacate the judgment, if successful, will remove the lien. To be successful, she must convince the court of 3 things: she was not served correctly, that she only recently learned of the existence of the judgment (typically less than 6 months) and if the judgment is more than 2 years old (6 years if the judgment creditor was a debt buyer and case is 2014 or newer), that she has a defense to the action. Or she can settle the judgment (we do this regularly). Or she can file Bankruptcy (if available to her). Keep in mind that a successful bankruptcy will not automatically remove the lien on the property and she will need to specifically request and be granted relief from the lien by the bankruptcy judge (not easy to do). Hope this helps!
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