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I just received a request for entry of default. What is going to happen now? What steps do i need to take?

San Diego, CA |

This is regarding a lawsuit that was filed november last year for a non payment of HOA dues. The house is already foreclosed. The pay off demand is $5,000. My original debt is $2500 including the late fees with all the fees they added (collection and attorney's fees) it doubled. I am trying to negotiate if they can reduce the debt, an email was sent to me 2 months ago by the law firm saying they will forward my request to the HOA board and will notify us of the boards decision as soon as they hear from them. Now I received the request of entry of default. I contacted the law firm again and was told they havent heard from the board and once again forwarded my request to the HOA board. Since they are not putting my file on hold- is there anything else I can do?

Once they file the entry of default how soon can they start garnishing my bank account or wages? Can they really wipe out my bank account? How can I stop them from doing this? What is the maximum percentage they can take off my wages? This lawsuit is in California.

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Attorney answers 3


The request for entry of default means that your 30 days to file a response has expired. In other words you have forfeited the case.

The plaintiff will next seek a judgment for the full amount, the HOA fees, interest, attorney fees, etc.

Do not fight the case because it sounds like you have no real address, and fighting the case will just cause the HOA's attorney fees to sky rocket.

Most San Diego HOA's are very agressive in collecting. However, they will usually work out some kind of payment plan.

You may want to find an attorney that will help you negotiate down the number, or negotiate a payment plan. If you just ignore the issue, you will have a judgment on your credit report, and sooner or later they will either garnish wages or levy on a bank account.

Call around you should be able to find an attorney that will meet with you, write a letter on your behalf, and negotiate a settlement or payment plan. You should plan on paying that attorney a few hundred bucks for his or her time. HOA's and their attorneys are usually more responsive to attorney as opposed to unrepresented defendants.

Good luck to you.


One a default is entered, it often is just a matter of days before the paperwork is submitted granting a judgment.

It sounds like you are having a lot of financial problems, and one way to resolve these problems could be with bankruptcy. If the total amount of your debt is too overwhelming to ever contemplate paying it off, bankruptcy could allow you to survive the here & now.

Hope this perspective helps!

Dorothy G Bunce

Dorothy G Bunce


Garnishment can typically take up to 25% of your gross wages. The only things a judgment creditor cannot seize is property covered under state laws called exemptions. You may be able to review these laws on the state webpage.


Unless and until you get the default set aside, the HOA probably won't be interested in settlement.

When a defendant fails to timely respond to a complaint, the plaintiff can file a request for entry of default and for default judgment. So what you will need to do as the defendant is to either obtain a stipulation to set aside the default and vacate the default judgment, or else make a formal motion to the court.

Although there is no California Judicial Council form for a motion to set aside a default and to vacate a default judgment, defendants can use the following materials prepared by the Equal Access Project.

Go to the following website:

Then obtain the following three documents:

1. Motion for Order Setting Aside Default/Vacating Default Judgment/Staying Execution of Judgment (26 KB) (prepared by the Ventura Courts Self-Help Legal Access Center )

2. Order Granting Motion to Set Aside Default/Vacate Default Judgment/Stay Execution (32 KB) (prepared by the Ventura Courts Self-Help Legal Access Center )

3. Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of Respondent/Defendant's Motion to Set Aside Default Judgment (43 KB) (Source: Moodle )

In addition to the foregoing, the defendant should prepare a declaration setting forth the specific facts as to why the default should be set aside.

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