I have a collection agency suing me for a credit card. We had the initial hearing and the judge ordered the company show more evidence and then reconvene about 4 weeks later. I never received notice of the new hearing and the judgement was made against me in my absence. Should I have received a notice, and from whom? What can I do about this? I am working with a credit consolidation company, and I have not been able to speak to their lawyers yet. I am not a happy camper with the consolidation company right now, nor the fact that it seems someone dropped the ball. What can I do?
In addition, I never received any amended proof as the judge ordered. If it's possible that the information was sent to my consolidation company, and I was never made aware, do I have any recourse toward the consolidation company?
If you were at the hearing and in open court the judge required them to reconvene in around 4 weeks, the judge's courtroom clerk would have announced the hearing date and time right then and there in open court after the judge said that. Because you were present at the hearing, no additional hearing notice is required because you received notice by being there.
As for the additional evidence, if something was filed with the court, the creditor's attorney should have sent you a copy of the updated filing so you'd be able to argue against it at the next hearing that you were supposed to attend. If you were represented by an attorney then they would have received the filed documents not you, so you'd need to speak with your attorney. If you were representing yourself then it should've gone to you.
What you can do is look at the court docket to see if anything was filed with the court after that hearing date. If something was and it wasn't mailed to you, then contact the attorney for the creditor and tell them that you didn't get a copy of what they filed and ask for copies of whatever it was they filed. Your next step is to look and see if you have a legitimate argument against what they filed but didn't send you. If you do, then you may be able to support a motion to vacate the judgment based on that grounds.
BUT - your major weakness in all this is that you didn't show up for the hearing in about 4 weeks at the date and time that the judge's clerk announced at the first hearing. Because of that, in all honesty, the judge may say you lost your chance to argue against not receiving the documents - so it may be an uphill battle.
William Devine, II
I am an attorney, just not your attorney (yet). Any answers here are to be deemed informational unless and until you retain me as your attorney for actual legal services and legal advice. I offer free in-person consultations so feel free to contact me offline by email or phone. If you like my answer, please hit the thumbs up button.
You wrote, " I am working with a credit consolidation company, and I have not been able to speak to their lawyers yet."
A: Don't count on receiving any assistance in resolving your current dilemma. Litigation support is rarely provided by debt consolidation agreements.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney
Why would you receive notice of any subsequent hearing? You were told when the continued hearing would take place, so you hardly have an excuse for not knowing about this hearing. When you failed to show up, the judge assumed you were blowing the case off or didn't care and ruled against you. The person who dropped the ball was you. In all likelihood, there is little or nothing you can do to prevent the judgment from going forward, but if you contact the attorney for the creditor that sued you, it is likely that they will accept payments from you. Hope this perspective helps!