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Default judgement before the offer ran out

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  • Default judgement before the offer ran out

    I received notice from the Court stating that a default judgement had been won by the creditor against me.
    From the creditor's lawyer I had received a letter offering a settlement amount of 40% The letter stated I had 25 days to respond to the offer with a payment. On day 12 of the 25 days, the lawyer for the credit card company filed a motion for a default judgement and the judge approved it 3 days later. So what I'm wondering is if I have a chance in Hell of them honoring the settlement offer or will they refuse since they got the judgement for the full amount despite the written and signed offer.
    Going to talk to a lawyer tomorrow.

  • #2
    The judge in the case made an error. This happened to us. When an attorney sends a motion to the court, they also send a 'proposed order'--in their favor of course--along with it so as to cut down paperwork and effort on the judge's part. When they get a stack of papers that need signing, it is easy to overlook wording and dates when they get in the 'signing mode.'

    Make copies of both items, and send a letter to the judge saying that you have gotten both the summons, and the order within a couple of days, and that you believe there is an error, that according to document A, you still have X number of days to respond, and that this Order came far too soon.

    Send everything certified with return receipt, or if you are able, do as we did and carry this in to the courthouse and right to the judge's secretary. I bet his will be fixed quickly. Let us know how it turns out.
    "To go bravely forward is to invite a miracle."

    "Worry is the darkroom where negatives are formed."


    • #3
      Thank you so much AngelinaCat!!


      • #4
        I don't know specifically about Nebraska, but usually a default judgment can be obtained pretty quickly after the deadline to respond or appear has passed. I wouldn't write to the judge and say they've made a mistake without checking the court rules or asking a NE attorney.
        LadyInTheRed is in the black!
        Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
        $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!


        • #5
          Hi LitR: This was what our attorney told us to do, and it was she that explained what 'Proposed Orders' are. Of course, don't write incendiary letters such as "You stupid idiot...", but be professional and state something to the effect of: "There seems to be a discrepancy here between the date that I have to respond to this Motion which is xx/yy/2011, and has not yet expired, and the date of this Order signed by you on xx/xx/2011. I would appreciate it if you would review this matter. Thank you."

          Of course it may be that Nebraska and the OP's district doesn't use Proposed Orders; and that is something that he/she needs to check.
          "To go bravely forward is to invite a miracle."

          "Worry is the darkroom where negatives are formed."


          • #6
            Hi, AC. I understand proposed orders. I prepare them and submit them to a court regularly. But, a motion for default judgment often does not require much, if any, notice. So, I wouldn't assume this is an error without checking the court rules.

            I just looked up Nebraska court rules. I don't know what court this case is in, but here's what Nebraska's Uniform Rules for County Courts says on default judgments:

            ยง 6-1432. Default judgments.
            In cases where the defendant fails to answer, demur, or otherwise plead, the plaintiff may, after the day on which said action shall be set for answer, take default judgment upon a verified petition, affidavits, or sworn testimony establishing a claim. No judgment will be entered on a negotiable instrument unless the original is surrendered for cancellation to the court.

            It appears that there is no notice requirement, but it is possible there is something on notice elsewhere.

            If it's a different court, the rules can be found at

            There also could be something about default judgments in the NE statutes:

            I think the real question is did the attorney for the creditor do anything illegal by offering a settlement in writing and filing a motion for default before the deadline to accept expired. I don't know the answer to that. The creditor may still be willing to proceed with the offered settlement because they'd rather not have to go to the trouble to collect.
            LadyInTheRed is in the black!
            Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
            $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!


            • #7
              I did see my lawyer today and he will be sending a letter to the creditor's lawyer. Lady........ much as you said he thought it was rather shady that they gave me a certain time to settle but then ignored their own offer and filed a motion for default. His first step will be to try to get the offered settlement so I can get this behind me. If they refuse he thinks we have a case to appeal the default judgement. But really that will buy me time and little else. I'd much rather they would just honor their offer and take my money. I will let you know how it turns out.


              • #8
                Good news! The creditor did honor their settlement offer and has vacated the judgement against me.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by TJ86 View Post
                  Good news! The creditor did honor their settlement offer and has vacated the judgement against me.
                  Excellent! Congrats!
                  LadyInTheRed is in the black!
                  Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
                  $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!


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