The Dreaded Default Judgement

Scenario : You attend at the bank to apply for a loan or financing for a new vehicle or a house. The bank personnel tell you that they cannot provide you with the loan or financing because there is a judgement against your name and you have been blacklisted. You had no knowledge of this before the bank employee informed you.

Where do you go from here?

Firstly, there are 2 ways a person may be “blacklisted” namely, by way of a default listing, or by way of a default judgement. We shall only deal with the default judgement process in this article.

In the legal process, legal action is instituted by way of a summons. This document sets out the claim which the plaintiff has against the defendant. A default judgement is taken when the defendant in a matter doesn’t provide a Notice that they intend to defend the matter.

A notice of intention to defend is a document which is used to reply to the plaintiff’s summons informing the plaintiff that the defendant wishes to defend the action which has been instituted against them. In most matters, a notice of intention to defend needs to be delivered within 10 days of the summons being served on the defendant. As stated above, if the defendant does not provide the plaintiff with a notice of intention to defend, the plaintiff may apply to the court to have a default judgement taken against the defendant.

Once a default judgement is granted, it will be listed against a person credit profile.

The next question is, if a default judgement is granted against a person, how does that person deal with the judgement.

There are 2 ways one may deal with the default judgement.

  1. By contacting the person/entity that took the default judgement to settle the amount outstanding.
  2. By consulting with an attorney to rescind the judgement.

What is a rescission of judgement? Simply put, a rescission of judgement is an application brought by the defendant to have the judgement rescinded or “taken away”

Why would one bring a rescission rather than just settle the amount outstanding? Normally a defendant would bring this application if they do not owe the money as they have a defence to the plaintiff’s claim.

When would a person be able to institute an application for rescission? Either when they have a bona fide defence to the claim or when they have settled the amount outstanding and the plaintiff consents to the rescission of the judgement.

Once the judgement is rescinded an application may be made to the credit bureau to have the blacklisting removed and then you are free to acquire financing or loans as required.

We have assisted many clients with this issue and therefore should you find yourself in this position we would recommend that you contact an attorney to assist you.