You need to consult with a debt relief lawyer. Naturally the time to face this was in 2001. The fact they sat on it may mean its dormant. You really need a consult.
Make a motion to vacate the default judgment and dismiss based on the statute of limitations. You need to review the Affidavit of Service in the Court file to see how the plaintiff claims that you were served.
I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been handling criminal defense and personal injury cases for over 18 years. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails, is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.
You need to file a Motion to Vacate. Go get an attorney ASAP! There is more to this story that you will need to address with an attorney.
if this is a debt that arose over 6 years ago (for instance, if it is a credit card that you have not used or paid in six years from the date of the suit), then you an move to reopen and dismiss. If not, I would highly recommend that you consult a debt and bankruptcy attorney.
All information given on this site is general in nature and for informational purposes only, and not legal advice. Only a lawyer, reviewing the underlying documents and facts, in a meeting in person or over the phone, can determine what course of action any person can take. No attorney/client relationship is created by participation on this site. No attorney/client privilege attaches to any communication on this site
"Sewer service" (the use of a disreputable process server to falsely claim papers were served on the defendant) was rife back in 2001. Andrew Cuomo went after it as Attorney General and hundreds of thousands of judgments were supposed to get vacated. There were also consequences for the process servers and the attorneys who employed them. You should do some research on who exactly those people were and whether your particular judgment is subject to being vacated without having to jump through the usual hoops.
The thugs out of Buffalo will not ease up just because a judgment might be vulnerable to being vacated.
You have no attorney client relationship with me. I do not know all the specifics of your case, some of which might affect the response I made, which is not legal advice. State laws vary, and I cannot opine on the impact of the laws of any state other than Florida.
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