There are three basic options when deciding what to do with a New Jersey judgment.
You choose to do nothing. American Express has initially 20 years to go after your bank account, pay check, or other non exempt property to collect money.
The value of hiring our law firm to assist you in negotiating and settling your judgment with American Express is so that it gets done the correct way to give you the best possible outcome we know how to provide. Yes you can settle a judgment with anyone yourself. But for many consumers negotiating with money clouds their minds and often inhibits their ability to come out with a great outcome. We are not emotionally involved with your debt. Our goal is to help you achieve a great out come. Our experience often allows us to perceive other options or recommend other actions.
When we settle with American Express –
- All communication goes through us. You will not speak with American Express or their attorneys.
- We will devise a strategy to settling the judgment.
- We write a professional hardship letter that allows American Express to understand why this is a great offer and they should accept.
- We conduct the full negotiation for you.
- Our attorney reviews the settlement agreement for compliance and to make sure you are represented.
- We help ensure the Satisfaction of Judgment is obtained in a timely manner.
- We make sure the Satisfaction of Judgment is filed correctly.
In New Jersey, you can vacate a judgment by filing a Motion in the Special Civil Part to ask the judge to overturn or vacate the original judgment. Some reasons that a judge may do so are:
Lack of Personal Jurisdiction (bad service)
The judge can vacate a default judgment if you were not given the papers starting the case the right way. You can also ask the Court Clerk for a copy of the Affidavit of Service to see what it says about how the papers were given to you. If you try to vacate a judgment because of bad service, you do not need to give the judge any other reason to vacate the judgment. But you will have to prove the bad service to the Judge at a special hearing called a “traverse hearing.” If the court finds that the service was good and you did not give the court another reason, the Judge will not vacate the judgment.
This is the most common reason for vacating a default judgment. It has two parts: (1) a good reason why you missed your court date or did not Answer; and (2) a good reason why the plaintiff or petitioner should not win the case (a good defense). Your time to ask to vacate the judgment for this reason may be limited if you were served with a copy of the judgment.
The most common example of a reason for missing court or not answering is that you never got any papers telling you to come to court. Other examples of good reasons are that you were out of town, ill, incarcerated, unable to take time off from work, or had transportation problems. You would also have a good reason if the attorneys for the other side told you not to bother going to court. Sometimes people do not Answer because they do not understand what the court papers are. This is not usually a good reason but some judges may accept it.
There are many reasons why the plaintiff should not win. This depends on the facts in your case. For example, in a consumer debt case, the defendant might tell the court that the default judgment should be vacated because he disputes the amount of the debt. Disputing the amount of the debt, combined with bad service, is a common reason to ask the court to vacate a default judgment.
This law firm can help you navigate the complicated legal process.