If you find your wages garnished, or you are getting debt collector calls due to a judgment you know nothing about, or a judgment is on your credit report that you know nothing about, what do you do?

This can be a complicated process.  If you did not appear at the trial for a debt, a "default judgment" was obtained against you.  This means that since you did not appear, and since the court had information that the lawsuit was "served" on you, it deemed that you had notice of the lawsuit and simply chose not to appear to disputed the alleged debt.  Assuming you did not know about this trial because the address that the "process" (a legal term for the warrant in debt or Complaint in which the creditor alleged you broke the law and owed it money) was served was not where you lived, and if you did not know about the upcoming trial, then you have a right to file a Motion To Rehear in the same court in which the trial occurred.  The grounds for getting the judgment "set aside" (which should stop any garnishment attempts by the creditor), is that the "service" of the process was never properly made on you, and since you did not know about the trial date, you did not appear.  The clerk may have the Motion to Rehear form, which you fill out, providing the reason for the motion (i.e. you did not live at the address on which the file indicates the "process" was served), and that you do not owe what the creditor claims you owe.   So you also request that you want the judgment set aside and another trial date set so you can have your day in court.  If garnishment proceedings have been filed, but no money was actually paid to the creditor, then ask the clerk to ask the judge to postpone the garnishment hearing until your Motion To Rehear has been heard.  You then get a hearing date from the clerk, at which you need to appear with any documents and witnesses that can prove you did not live at the address that the original complaint or warrant in debt was served.  

John Cole Gayle, Jr.
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Consumer Law Pioneer and Co-Author of Virginia's Lemon Law