Have a Louisiana default judgment from March 17, 2020 to July 5, 2020? It may be illegal.

Gov. Edwards of Louisiana “suspended” legal deadlines in March 2020 because of the COVID-19 Pandemic. In short, he delayed when Louisiana residents would have to answer the lawsuit.

But many of the creditors (like JPMorgan Chase and Discover) and debt buyers (Midland Credit Management Inc and Portfolio Recovery Associates) still took judgments against Defendants during March 17, 2020 and July 5, 2020. This is wrong and should not have been allowed.

Louisiana Judgment Settlement

What are the time frames to respond to a lawsuit in Louisiana?

Usually, you have 10 to 15 days to respond depending on the court they were file in Louisiana.

  • Justice of the Peace Court, City Court, or Parish Court — 10 days to respond
  • District Court — 15 days to respond

Under the Governor’s Orders, these deadlines were suspended until July 5, 2020. If your deadline to respond fell between March 17, 2020 and July 5, 2020, you were given until July 6, 2020. For example, if your normal deadline was April 1, 2020, you had until July 6, 2020.

If you do not respond to a lawsuit before the deadline, a default judgment may be entered against you. This can give the other side everything they asked for in the case.

If a default judgment was granted against you between March 17, 2020 and July 5, 2020, it’s possible that this judgment may have been illegal.

What can I do if I did have a default judgment entered against me during this time period?

You have a few options if a default judgment entered against you from March 17, 2020 and July 5, 2020.

  • Do Nothing. You can always do nothing but understand that the judgment creditor can still go after paycheck, bank accounts, and non exempt real estate.
  • Settle with them. Sometimes it may be cheaper to settle with them. Mention that they took a judgment they should not have and use that as leverage to possibly obtain a lower settlement.
  • File a Petition for Nullity. This may be able to remove the judgment. But the creditor may be able to proceed with the original trial and try the case again. You may still end up settling with them anyways. But sometimes, the creditor may choose to settle for a lower amount rather than pay for attorney’s fees to respond to the Petition for Nullity. For judgments over $10,000 this may provide additional leverage against the creditor.

What if I do not settle a Louisiana judgment?

If you have further questions, call us at (844) 262-3946