It sounds like you need to consult with an attorney. When an answer is not filed by a defendant, the plaintiff can request the court to enter a default. Then the plaintiff needs to prove the amount of the judgment requested. At that point a default judgment is entered by the court. Once there is a judgment on file, the plaintiff can have an abstract recorded. Because you have not been successful in having the default set aside, the judgment is still valid.
Since you are in the process of trying to have the default vacated and defend the case I would recommend contact the plaintiff's attorney to ask him to postpone taking further action until your next hearing. If you are successful in your motion, you should ask the court to order the plaintiff to remove the abstract.
Here is a link for the California Self Help site: http://www.courts.ca.gov/1314.htm
Respectfully, if you hope to prevail on appeal or with respect to setting aside a default judgment, you are going to need an attorney. Do yourself a BIG favor and, instead of posting here, consult personally with an attorney who can review your case.
Unless you have posted bond and/or been granted a stay there is nothing illegal about recording an abstract of judgment once judgment has been entered.
An abstract must be issued by the clerk before it can be recorded, i.e., signed and sealed. I am uncertain what you mean by “endorsed.” It would be a surprise to me if the County Clerk recorded a document not in proper form. Service copies may not be exact copies of the original, recorded document.
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