county court judgment served at an address I have not lived at for eight years.

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I need help.I have just recieved an attachment of earnings out of the blue.Total shock !!The county court judgement was filled against an address I lived in eight years ago when I first applied for the mortgage, I have been in correspondence with the lender since repossesion took place. They last wrote to me 1995 to negotiate a settlement amount, this was not agreed.Is it possible to have the judgement set a side ? Is it worth doing this as they will just reissue ? Should I go bankrupt and if I do will my family house be threatend (I was single when I had the house repossed )? Details - attachment of earnings for £26000. Mortgage was for £28000 Valued one year prior for £35000 sold for 14000. what do I do now. I will even give up work to stop the attachment of earnings.

-- Suzanne Cannell (davidcannell@yondertown.freeserve.co.uk), November 20, 2000

Answers

The best thing you can do is read the Q&A page as fully as you can, you will find a lot of helpful advice ( albeit not legal advice as we are not qualified to give such ) then I would suggest the *Who helps * page. This site is a mine of information,as for your family home being threatened, that really depends on whether the mortgage is in your name or your spouses. If, as you say they sold the property for considerably less than the value, then you may have just cause to fight the shortfall. As I said, you can get advice from the addresses on the *Who helps?* page. Please don't worry too much, you are not alone, there are thousands of people going through exactly the same. Do you feel comfortable with telling us the name of the lender? Good luck Suzanne.

-- jacky jones (jones5@btinternet.com), November 20, 2000.

Hello Suzanne

You say that you were in correspondence with the lender until 1995, 5 years ago, Iím assuming therefore that the summons and judgement was made against an address other than the one you were corresponding from?

In any event you can apply for the judgement to be set aside, but you must act quickly. Visit your local County Court and tell them that you wish to apply for the judgement to be set aside as you did not receive the summons.

Its possible that the Courts will have a preprinted form for you to complete, or they may say that you need to make your own application, in which case see a solicitor who will draft it for you. Basically the application asks for a hearing to set the judgement aside and when its sent to the Court they will give it a date and time. You then go to Court, either alone or with your solicitor (and the lenderís representative will go along too) and you tell the Judge that you didnít get the papers, and that the CCJ was filed against a very old address.

The Judge will then decide what should happen. Its very likely that s/he will set aside the judgement allowing you to file a defence.

At that point then lender will need to provide documentary evidence of their claim, and will have to provide you a list of what they have (discovery) and you can have copies of whatever you need from the list. This is where you can then challenge the selling price of the house. Look at the website for more information on what others have done.

If the worst happens and the Judge grants the go ahead for the Attachment of Earnings Order, then you can plead that it be refused because you risk losing your job. At this point you can usually offer to pay in instalments, and failure to do so will mean the AOE goes ahead.

As for bankruptcy, if your house is in your spouseís name only, then it canít be sold. If it is in joint names, then your spouse would have to buy your share, otherwise the Trustee in Bankruptcy can force a sale, but its possible to put that off for some time to allow for other housing arrangements to be made. Bankruptcy doesnít last forever, and you are automatically discharged after 3 years, whether or not the debt is repaid.

Do seek advice before attempting to give up work. Unless your partner can support you, you may not receive unemployment benefits because you willingly left your job.

See a solicitor as soon as you can. Best of luck.

-- pendle (pendle@amun-ra.demon.co.uk), November 20, 2000.


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