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Vacating satisfied judgement

New Member

Vacating satisfied judgement


I have a judgement (for credit card debt) againt me which was settled for less back in 2012, so this judgement has been closed with the "Satisfied" status.


Now I'm trying to vacate it so that it disappears from my credit reports. One thing I noticed from the court record is that they mispelled my middle name initial. I've heard that some people have success on filling a motion to vacate a judgement based on the errors in the complaint (e.g. wrong name, amount, etc). Anyone has success with this? Also what should I write on the motion in this case? Again, this is a closed and satified judgement, and I live in MD.



Message 1 of 10
Frequent Contributor

Re: Vacating satisfied judgement

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I really don't see what you can do at this point.


A motion to vacate a judgment is filed to ask the judge to "void" the judgment and, effectively, reopen the case and/or dismiss it entirely.

This is similar to a bill of review, which asks the judge to reconsider the judgment based on new/additional information or a fault in procedure.

These are used to get judgments overturned, that is, to eliminate the judgment and move the court case backwards a bit - effectively erasing the public record of the judgment as if it never existed.  The defendant may or may not eventually be found to owe the debt, and a new judgment may be signed, or the old one may be affirmed, or whatever.


In your case,  you've already settled/paid the judgment and the court is (properly) reporting it closed/satisfied.

Filing a motion to vacate based on a misspelled name when you've already acknowledged the debt/judgment was yours (you paid it, after all) - doesn't seem likely to work.

Essentially there is nothing left "alive" for the court to consider killing.  The judgment is "dead" since you satisfied/paid it.

Unfortunately, its death does not mean it is removed from the record - its reporting life is still going on for a couple more years.

Message 2 of 10
Community Leader
Legendary Contributor

Re: Vacating satisfied judgement

Both the federal rules of civil procedure (see Rule 60(a)) and state versions of that same rule specifically provide that a court may simply correct the record when there are clerical or administrative errors.   Misspellings are not basis for vacature of the judgment itself.


You can pursue vacature based on having paid the debt under some, but not all, state rules of civil procedure.

It is provided as a form of equitable relief that the court can voluntarily grant.

I presume it is a state case, so check your state rules of civil procedure for reasons for seeking vacature and determine if satisfaction of the judgment is basis in your state.

Correction of clerical errors will almost certainly be stated as a simply matter that the court can  correct, and not basis for vacature.


Message 3 of 10
Senior Contributor

Re: Vacating satisfied judgement

If you live in Massachusetts it is very very easy to get a satisfied judgement vacated. I have had success two times without any resistance from the Court or the Creditor.
Message 4 of 10
Established Contributor

Re: Vacating satisfied judgement

donny10 wrote:
If you live in Massachusetts it is very very easy to get a satisfied judgement vacated. I have had success two times without any resistance from the Court or the Creditor.

That's cool, but they live in Maryland Smiley Very Happy


Not sure what their rules are there in the area they live in. You might look into whats currently going on with the bureaus & civil judgements. There are new rules being handed out that dictate what extra info must be displayed with the current judgement info, and I'm finding the bureaus would rather just delete satisfied judgements, than have to go through the time & trouble of updating all currently known judgements.


You can find many many recent stories both here & elsewhere, where people have disputed satisfied judgements recently, and the bureaus have just deleted them rather than having to spend time changing the info to how it has to be displayed in the near future. Less people-hours required for that. In the case of Experian, they just outright deleted all my satisfied judgements in the last year without me even asking for it(they've done the same for others).

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Message 5 of 10
Regular Contributor

Re: Vacating satisfied judgement

I am not sure if the spelling of your middle e name constitute to have the judgement remove as your social security number and address is verification and the fact that you paid.
In my experience after paying I filled an order because I was not properly served. The Consensus is once paid the lawyers most likely will not show up to court as they are no longer interested in collecting. I live in NYC and that is how I got my satisfied judgment vacated. Hopefully you get yours removed.

Message 6 of 10
New Member

Re: Vacating satisfied judgement

Hi susieqj,

That's exactly what I heard that this can happen. The plaintiff wouldn't respond to my motion so I have a chance to win. 


You said you filed an order about not being served properly. What was the exact reason for your order? e.g. the complaint was not personally delivered. How long did you wait to file it after you satified the judgement?




Message 7 of 10
Community Leader
Legendary Contributor

Re: Vacating satisfied judgement

If you are attempting to get a judgment vacated due to substantive error, such as lack of proper service, I would highly recommend consulting with an attorney.

First, the judgment has been paid for a few years, so was willingly paid rather than contested.

Second, personal service is normally not required after a first attempt.  Most states provide for service by other means, including publication in a local newspaper.

You thus need to know the requirments in your state rules of civil procedure.

Third, most states have specific periods in which a motion asserting error in the judgment must be filed. 


I would seek a legal consultation before motioning the court for vacature based on error in a paid judgment.

Message 8 of 10
Established Member

Re: Vacating satisfied judgement

This post has been so helpful!  I have several judgements not showing satisfied on my credit report, despite them being satisfied with my bankruptcy.  I've been trying to figure out how to file a motion with the court to make them show satisfied (in Oregon they are satisfied with bankruptcy), but this is so much easier.  Worth a shot, anyway, can't hurt anything!  Thanks again!

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Message 9 of 10
Regular Contributor

Re: Vacating satisfied judgement


Part of judgement was unpaid, so I made payment arrangement to pay it off. As soon as I got a letter from the law firm saying that the judgment was paid and they were no longer attempting to collect. I went to court to get it vacated. The clerk asked why did I want to get it vacated and I told him that I had no idea until my wages from my part-time job was being garnished. They eventually stopped taking money because I hardly worked any hours. (Not sure why they garnished my PT job and not my regular job).

The court gave me an order to show caused, and when I went to court the no one from the law firm showed up and it was vacated by the judge. I got this information from this site, there are so much information on here.  I spent hours and hours reading, and still do so.  My goal is to reach 700 by summer to buy a house.  Good luck

Message 10 of 10