I have a judgment listed on my credit reports from 4 years ago (Oct 2007) in the state of Rhode Island. It only showed up on my credit reports a month ago. Before that it was never listed on any credit report and I have been actively getting my credit reports for years.
The judgment of $935 was from a small claims case against my automotive business. The person was a unhappy customer who took me to court because she did not like how much she was charged for the work we performed. Completely frivolous and had completely agreed to the price prior to having the work done. This is after the car had come from another shop that could not figure out what was wrong with the car. Now I did not show up for court, because I had had a close friend die and I was not in a good state of mind at the time. I know this is no excuse the court will accept. However I did not receive any paper work after I missed the court date and it did not affect the sale of my business over two years later. Now my automotive business was clearly operating under a corporation at the time. So here are my questions:
1. Can it be removed from my credit report because it should have been a judgment against the corporation and not me personally? Send documentation to the credit agency that I was under a corporation?
2. If I offer her a small payment that she accepts can I write it up in a way that we both agree to dismiss the case without filing a motion to vacate the judgment? Of course she would have to sign some kind of dismissal and agreement which I am sure she would sign anything or agree to anything just to get a small amount of money. Then I would just send the credit agencies documents showing she agreed to dismiss the case/judgment. It is her name listed on the credit reports under the judgment.
3. If not is it possible to file a motion to vacate the judgment after all this time? Based on the fact it was a corporation or any other argument like frivolous law suit, which it clearly was in many ways. Cannot find any information on the Statue of Limitations in state of Rhode Island for filing a motion to vacate.
Or is my only option to get a satisfactory of judgment agreement from her after coming up with a agreed settlement amount? I know she would probably not follow up on filing any agreement with the court once she has the money. So I was thinking I would meet her at the courthouse with the documents and certified check so it can be notarized there and then filed while we are both there. Only if this is possible? The courthouse that the case is filed in said they cannot accept money directly to pay it off and I need to contact her directly. But I obviously want to make sure it gets filed properly so I can at the very least get the judgment released from my credit reports. I just want to make sure there are no other possible avenues to have the judgment completely removed from my credit reports. This is the only negative thing listed on my credit and it is important to me to get it removed if at all possible.
Any advice in this matter would be greatly appreciated.