New Bern, NC asked in Consumer Law and Collections for North Carolina

Q: get default judgment dismissed for a credit on SS & 69 ys old.can they put a lein. on my home

The card is about 1,900 i think.the home is all I have how do i do this w/out a lawyer

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

A: If you were properly served with the Summons and Complaint, it will be impossible to set aside a default judgment. You can go to the Clerk of Court and ask for the court file to review. If the summons return says you were personally served by the Sheriff or someone who resided with you was personally served, you were properly served. If the Summons and Complaint were served by certified mail or FedEx, there is an Affidavit of Service in the court file which should have a signature card attached or at least proof of where the summons and complaint were delivered. If they were delivered to your residential address, you were properly served.

If the summons and complaint was delivered somewhere that you did not reside, you might have a chance of getting the judgment set aside - but this is difficult to do without an attorney. You should contact the creditor's attorney and explain that you were not properly served and see if they will voluntarily vacate the judgment. They will, however, expect you to pay something on the debt unless you can also prove it was not your debt.

If you own you home in your name only, the judgment is already a lien on your home, behind the mortgages. Most creditors will not attempt to foreclose on the lien, they will wait until you pass and then enforce the lien upon your heirs. Your heirs will need to pay off the lien.

You may want to condider getting a "reverse mortgage" to pay off the lien. Only a certified housing counselor can discuss a reverse mortgage with you.

One other option is to make small payments on the judgment until it is paid off. If the attorney for the creditor insists that you pay something every signle month in an amount that you cannot afford, you can always take your payment to the Clerk of Court, who will accept any amount of payment and note the payment on the judgment docket.

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