What happens to the collection lawsuit if the judgment is vacated?

What happens to the collection lawsuit if the judgment is vacated?

What happens to the collection lawsuit if the judgment is vacated?Another way this can be asked is, “What does this do to the collection lawsuit?”

Let’s back up for a moment.

When you’re sued, you have to be served. After you’re served, you have a certain amount of time to answer the lawsuit.

If you don’t answer it, then the debt collector can get a default judgment against you.

Maybe you weren’t served, though.

Or maybe you were served, but somehow you were able to get the judge to remove the judgment, or vacate it.

We’ve had clients with default judgments from 15 years ago, but they were never served, and they’re wondering where this judgment came from.

So we attack that judgment because we weren’t properly served, then we can make the judgment go away.

What does this do to the lawsuit?


The lawsuit is still there.

Here’s the sequence of events.

The lawsuit is filed, you get served, and then there’s a judgment.

Well, if we get rid of the judgment, then the lawsuit still remains.

Now, if we do this, we also file a response to the lawsuit so the other side doesn’t have to serve us.

So now we have the lawsuit, the answer, and now the trial is next.

Vacating the judgment by itself does not get rid of the lawsuit.

The plaintiff, the person who sued you, still has to prove their case to a judge.

The reason I’m mentioning all of this is sometimes people believe getting rid of the judgment is all that matters and then they are surprised to find out the case still exists.

For example, Midland Funding sued you in 2008 and got a default judgment in 2009.  But since you were not served, you are able to vacate the judgment in 2017.

Even though the case has been around for 9 years (2008 to 2017), it is still out there.  We count the statute of limitations from the date you were sued not when you were served.

So what do you do with this lawsuit?

Go through your five options when sued by a debt collector, keeping in mind the age of the case will make normally make it easier to defend in some ways.

Hope this is helpful to you!

If you have any questions about an Alabama lawsuit, feel free to reach out to us. 

You can reach us by phone at 1-205-879-2447, or you can fill out a contact form and we will get in touch with you quickly. 

We will be glad to help you in any way we can.

Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

-John G. Watts


P.S. If you want to find out why we think it’s a good idea to file an answer to a collection lawsuit before we’re served, you can check out our other article we did.

Leave a Comment