If a court finds that you failed to pay a debt, it may award a judgment to your creditor. It is a legal confirmation that you owe the debt and provides the creditor with several avenues to pursue collection. If you live in Oklahoma and believe that you do not owe the money or that the judgment was issued in error, then you may file a legal motion to vacate in order to get rid of, or void, the judgment. If you provide adequate cause in the motion, the judge will provide you the opportunity to appear in an Oklahoma court and present your case. Be prepared to defend yourself on the merits of the claim.
Prepare your argument. Numerous ways exist to present your case. A common argument is that the creditor never properly served the documents to you Another is that the debt was paid in full, which you can demonstrate with documentation. A further argument is that the statute of limitations expired. If the judgment was issued in a court outside Oklahoma, which is considered a foreign judgment, then the judgment expires after three years. If the judgment was issued by an Oklahoma court, making it a domestic judgment, then the judgment expires after five years unless it is renewed by the creditor.
File your motion. Inform the court clerk that you want to file a motion to vacate a judgment. The clerk will answer all your questions and even help complete the forms. Once the paperwork is in order, the court will notify you of the upcoming court date.
Notify the creditor. Determine whether or not the court will take care of notification or if you must hire your own process server. Serving the notice is essential if you hope to prevail in your case.
Appear in front of the judge. If the creditor fails to appear or is unable to disprove your claim, then the judge will rule in your favor. Present your case clearly and concisely. Present the facts, and avoid becoming emotional in front of the judge.
Notify the collector if the judgment is dismissed. The court will provide you with a document showing that the judgment was dismissed. Send copies to all collection agencies that contacted you and to the credit bureaus so they will remove any mention of the judgment from your credit report.
If you legally owe the debt, these procedures may prove ineffective.
If the court validates the judgment, you may seek to settle with the creditor for a lesser amount or file for bankruptcy protection to stop future collection actions.
The accuracy of this information is not guaranteed. Consult with an attorney licensed to practice in Oklahoma, or check Oklahoma’s statutes directly.
- If you legally owe the debt, these procedures may prove ineffective.
- If the court validates the judgment, you may seek to settle with the creditor for a lesser amount or file for bankruptcy protection to stop future collection actions.
- The accuracy of this information is not guaranteed. Consult with an attorney licensed to practice in Oklahoma, or check Oklahoma's statutes directly.
Benjamin Podraza holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting and a Master of Science in taxation from Arizona State University. He is a financial consultant that has provided advice to thousands of individuals and business owners for more than 15 years.