Setting Aside a Default Judgement

If a default judgment has entered against you, it may be possible to set the judgment aside, depending on the circumstances.  Whether a court will set aside a default judgment depends on many things, including what court you are in and the reason for the default.  Most courts favor judging cases on their merits and are inclined to set aside a default judgment if there is a meritorious reason to do so.  

Most debt collection actions are brought in Colorado's County Courts.  These cases are initiated when a Plaintiff (the debt collector) serves a defendant (the alleged debtor) with a Summons and Complaint.   The Summons will indicate a date by which the defendant must either file an Answer or appear in court on that date.  If a defendant fails to file an Answer or appear in court, the judge will grant a default judgment in favor of the Plaintiff.  If this happens, it is important for the defendant to act quickly and file a motion to set aside the default judgment.  In the motion, a defendant must explain why you were unable to file an Answer or appear in court.  Colorado law allows judges to set aside the default judgment for a number of reasons including for "excusable neglect."  A Colorado consumer lawyer can explain all of the avenues you can take to set aside a default and can give you your best chance of winning your motion.  

Importantly, if a defendant wins the motion to set aside, the case is not over; quite the opposite.  Once the judgment is set aside, the case will start over and the defendant will again be given a deadline to file and Answer or appear in court.  Defendants should be very aware of this date as a judge will not be as incline to set aside a second default judgment.