I Have Been Sued But Didn’t Know It For Years. Should I Worry?
Discovering an Outstanding Deb Lawsuit
Every month, we receive calls from prospective clients who say they weren’t aware of a lawsuit in their name. It is only years later that they find out they have a “default” against them.
To vacate or cancel the default, we suggest the defendant show exceptional circumstances or facts that existed due to which they did not file a response in the prescribed time or prove they did not owe the debt. However, being sued and finding it out years later is a complicated matter.
No courts and juries want to penalize those who don’t know they have been sued. However, producing proof of service is vital in this process. Having served means, you have been given the time needed to respond to a lawsuit. Not having this time is a serious violation a creditor can commit when suing you.
Unfortunately, in Los Angeles, the creditor can obtain a judgment against you even if you aren’t served properly. Most judges take the position that you should’ve known you owed a debt and could have been sued. As a general principle, you must find out about any lawsuits within at least six months to one year from the date you have been sued.
It is a horrible position taken by the courts since not everyone checks their credit so often. Besides, people move and change jobs. In our opinion, you must always be allowed to defend yourself, even if it is many years after the lawsuit.
However, courts believe that two or three years down the road, creditors shouldn’t be burdened with proving their case when they have certified proper service and notice.
The burden falls on you. You’re responsible when speaking with attorneys to set aside the judgment. You may be paying for a service that results in lost finances and reputation. It is disheartening to tell a client they cannot defend themselves.
Regardless of the case, it is crucial to seek legal assistance and know your rights. Call Westgate Law attorneys for more information.