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Court Reverses Order Vacating Default Judgment Nearly 10 Years Later

  • Written by Steel Rose

The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed a trial court’s order vacating a nearly decade-old default judgment in a debt collection dispute, finding the debtor’s delay in bringing his fraud allegation was not reasonable.

In 2010, Fred Knight began a decade-long back and forth with a debt collection agency over tens of thousands of dollars he allegedly failed to pay.

Specifically, RAB Performance Recoveries LLC filed a complaint against Knight for the principal sum of $49,482.58 on an unpaid Chase Bank balance. Although Knight was served with a summons and complaint, he failed to answer, prompting an entry of default judgment to RAB in 2012.

Proceedings supplemental were started to collect on the outstanding judgment and a garnishment order was entered, which in turn withheld funds from Knight’s wages and was distributed to RAB. Funds continued to be withheld until January 2013, when Knight’s employer responded that Knight was no longer its employee. RAB commenced garnishment proceedings at Knight’s new employer in 2019, which he objected to.

Knight then filed a motion to vacate the 2012 default judgment, which the Vigo Superior Court granted after Knight’s counsel, without submitting any supporting evidence, asserted the debt was not Knight’s but rather was the result of “fraud perpetrated by an ex-wife.”

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