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California - Abstract of Judgement? Lien?

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state? - California

Hello, I'm in LA, California, and I had a quick legal question. Quick is a lie - this is now a novel (the whole story AND this posting).

Before I go further, I would appreciate NOT getting a lecture about being responsible with credit and whatnot - this I know and I don't need salt rubbed into a wound (of my own crafting, I know). I'm trying to fix my problems now and that's part of why I'm here.

It's 2005 now, and I moved out of my parents' home to go to school 10 years ago. My current address on my license, voter information pamphlets, Selective Service, whatnot (and on my credit report) is correct. The credit report also shows that my previous address was my mother's. I got into debt with personal loans, some credit cards, and some defaulted school loans. THese went to collections, save for some still in good standing or closed in good standing. I paid off some debt (and ensured this was updated on my reports) via a repayment plan or paid outright for some amount the collectors settled for. The school loans were consolidated and are religiously being paid off. I have one active repayment with another creditor now. I got a car on a loan, which is also in good standing, but high interest and high payment.

The collector for one CC company called a few times, I got a call saying something about a court case, but I was never served papers at my home in person or via mail. I was honestly afraid to talk to them (I suffer from pretty bad social and phone anxiety, seriously) I recently spoke to my mother (who lives at my old address, and I'm very busy and we rarely speak) a week ago handed me some mail which had been sitting around the house. It was from various law assistance firms, saying an abstract of judgement had been filed against me and that they could help. Today, she gave me a letter from the Registrar-Recorder-County-Clerk. It was a PO Box in LA CA and did look official. It was addressed to my mothers' place (as I said, I don't live there and my credit info and all my records reflects this) It says "Notice of Involuntary Lien" and says the document may enclose the lien.

Form EJ-001 shows a law firm as the attorney, Superior Court of So.
Calif, LA District Branch as the court.
Plaintiff was the collection agency my original creditor used,
"Abstract of Judgement" addressed to me at my old place. This was early july of this year.
Judgement entered late June.
Abstract issued mid July.
Amount was ~2.5 times the original amount (interest? fees?).
"A Stay of Attorney has not been ordered by the court" was checked.

I checked the LA Superior court website with my case number, and there it was. Civil case summary. Everything matched up fine too:

No future hearings.
Status: Disposed.
Filing Date, april 20 of '05.
Case type: contract (limited jurisdiction).
plaintiff, same as I described above, as is the attorney. I am listed as defendant, with no attorney listed (I don't even know anyone who's an attorney so.. i'm ALSO clueless there)

In the history I see several things that I don't know about (these are only a few). Most recent at

late june, same day as below - HEARING DELETED - OFF CALENDAR

My most recent credit report, dated 1 September 2005 shows no public records (yet). So, what does all this mean (especially to me) and what can I do now to fix it? Should I contact the attorneys, or what? Should I contact an attorney myself? Am I screwed? How can they get me? The only thing I own, which even I don't own fully yet (the bank owns it - it's not paid off), is my car. I am a renter of a house and need to move too. I make decent money I suppose, but if you know rents in LA, and along with my high car payment and the cost of gas the last few years, along with house and utility bills, paying off debts, insurance, most of it goes away pretty soon. I have about 300 a month or so to eat and make sure I have the basic necessities.
Also those pamhplets in the mail say they can take 25% of my paycheck, suspend my license, take my car. I don't know what's real or not and I dont' knwo who I can trust anymore to help.

I feel I'm stuck in a vicious circle that I can't get out of.

Lost in LA.


Junior Member
more possibly useless info

Further to that, the attorneys are Winn and Simms, and the creditor was Cavalry Portfolio Services. I have heard some pretty nasty things about both of them, and the BBB gave Winn & Sims a bad rating at one time apparently - this has now gone to become a "BBB" rating which means "A very high rating. A company with this rating would not have a significant number of complaints or other considerations that could pose a problem to consumers."

They (W&S), I believe, at one time had an "F" rating. Now, as of the last 36 months their biggest complaint against them was "Agreeing to perform according to their contract", which apparently were amicably resolved.

Anyway, hope this is informative. I'd like to know more and if it's possible to work something out with them (again, because of where things stand now, I really don't know where they stand :) or what...

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