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How can i get rid of this judgment against me from my old landlord?

Seattle, WA |

Was evicted because i didn't know about the 30day notice. i thought verbal notice was o.k. It was my first apartment. Now that i want to take care of the matter the collection agency refused to help me because i wouldn't give them my employment info. I don't know what to do and i cant pay the full balance at this time i wanted to make payment arrangements.

Attorney Answers 4


There is a difference between a judgement and a debt a collection company says you owe. If it has not been signed by a judge (ask for a copy from the agency) then it may not be a judgement. Essentially, if you were served with a summons and complaint or a small claims case and you lost, you probably have a judgement. If not, then your landlord is simply alleging you owe money.

You may want to contact a debtors attorney regarding how to proceed and regarding your rights.

This answer is for informational purposes only and should not be construed to establish an attorney client relationship. Before taking any legal action, it is always advisable to discuss your specific situation with an attorney.

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"Was evicted because i didn't know about the 30day notice." You seem to be stating that you gave an oral notice to the landlord that you would move and you did move. If you moved after giving notice, I am wondering how you ended up being evicted from a place where you were not living.

Your creditors have no legal duty to make payment arrangements with you. If the creditors have a court judgment against you, the creditors will have to right to take your nonexempt assets to satisfy the judgment.

If there is a judgment against you, you also do not have a choice whether to give the creditor your employment information since the creditor has the statutory right to have you come into court and be examined about your finances. If you do not show up to be examined as required by the court order, in theory, the court will issue a warrant for your arrest.

You should have reviewed the specific facts with your attorney from the start. You likely should still review the specific facts with your attorney to find what legal options you still have.

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If there is a judgment against you already there is not much a landlord-tenant attorney can do to assist you. If you're trying to make payments on the judgment and the collection agency is being difficult you may need to speak to an attorney who specializes in debtors law.

The fact is, if you make a payment to the collection agency it will accept the payment and it will reduce the amount you owe. The collection agency can still attempt to garnish your wages (which is why they asked for your employment information) or your bank account unless you agree to a payment plan. An attorney or a debt specialist may be able to negotiate on your behalf.

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As some others mentioned, verify this is real. You can go to and look up your case number or your name and see if there is a judgment.

In regard to resolution, here are some options:

1) Payment plan with collection agency. It is risky if you reveal employer info and before it is signed, they could swoop in for an easy garnishment while hitting you with the attorney fees for doing so. However, many collection agencies will work with you and honor a payment plan. Depends on who you are dealing with and how evil they feel like being that day.

2) Bankruptcy could wipe out the debt, however, not sure if the amount in question is worth it. Generally, I never file a client into a bankruptcy unless I can discharge at least $10k for them and preferably more. If you have some additional credit cards or other debt that could be discharged to bring you up to this level, it may be worth it.

3) Force them to validate the debt. You have rights under the FDCPA. If they assert to own the debt, write a validation letter (find FDCPA validation letter templates on line off a google search) to make them prove it up.

4) Borrow from friends/family to settle up in a lump sum to keep the debt from racking up more attorney fees, pay back your friends/family interest fee (hopefully).

5) Seek to vacate the judgment. I truly do not recommend this due to the low likelihood of success and cost, but it is an option.

If you have any questions, call a consumer protection attorney. Most will offer a free phone consult at the minimum. Best of luck.

This answer does not constitute legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is formed through this answer. If you wish to have a free consultation as to your question and my answer, please contact me at your soonest convenience.

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Edgar I Hall

Edgar I Hall



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