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What is the Time Limit to File a Motion to Vacate a Summary Final Judgment Against a Junk Debt Buyer in Florida?

Naples, FL |

Portfolio Recovery Associates was just granted a Summary Final Judgment against me; despite the fact that they never presented me with any opportunity to ask them to verify the debt prior to filing suit against me; despite the fact that they failed to respond to any of my Discovery requests - of which the Judge simply let them slide on that and granted PRCA's Motion for Summary Final Judgment; despite the fact I had an attorney from Legal Aid helped me prepare a Motion to Dismiss and an objection to their Motion for Summary Judgment with viable defenses; and also in despite of the fact that I filed a Motion to Compel answers to those Discovery requests.

Should I hire an attorney to file a Motion to Vacate the Summary Final Judgment, or should I just file for bankruptcy, even though this is the only 'alleged' debt that I owe? Even if there may not be anything that I can do about the Judgment at this stage of the game, I would like to consult with an attorney that could take legal action against them for violations of the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Furthermore, I don't know how PRA will ever be able to collect on that judgment, as I am currently unemployed, do not own a home or a car, have less than $50 in my bank account, most of the time; and ultimately plan on filing for bankruptcy in order to get a fresh start, I would just like to know if I should just simply forego hiring an attorney to file a Motion to Vacate PRA's Summary Final Judgment - and just file for bankruptcy and be done with it, once and for all. Any suggestions? Ultimately, I just want to know IF I can file a Motion to Vacate, and how much TIME I have to do so.

Attorney Answers 3

  1. If you did hire another attorney to represent you, chances are that the attorney would only work on an hourly basis, and it sounds like you cannot afford that. Bankruptcy will usually give you a fresh start, and you can put this behind you.

  2. I agree with the prior attorney, file bankruptcy and be done with this debt and obtain a fresh start.

  3. While agreeing with the other attorneys that bankruptcy is your best bet, it sounds as if you have time time to decide on BK given that you are currently uncollectible. To answer your initial question, though, a motion for relief from judgment is governed by Rule 1.540 of the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. For essentially any other reason than because the judgment is void, or that it has been satisfied or discharged, your time limit is 1 year.

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