In HSBC Bank Nevada, N.A. v. Aguilar, the Appellate Division of the Los Angeles County Superior Court held that a bank was not required to present any proof in order to obtain a default judgment against a holder of a credit card.
HSBC Bank Nevada, N.A., sued Lizet Aguilar for money damages based on Aguilar's alleged default on a credit-card agreement. Aguilar did not respond. HSBC requested entry of default and a clerk's judgment.
The clerk entered Aguilar's default, but refused to enter judgment. The clerk instructed HSBC to submit either an original promissory note or contract or, if necessary, a declaration of a lost original. HSBC did not comply with those instructions. The trial court ordered a show-cause hearing.
In response, HSBC declared that it had satisfied all statutory prerequisites to a default judgment, that the clerk was required to enter that judgment, and that the clerk lacked authority and the trial court lacked jurisdiction to require production of the original promissory note.
HSBC requested entry of a default judgment. The clerk denied the request. HSBC moved to compel the clerk's entry of default judgment or alternatively for a trial court order entering default judgment.
The trial court denied the motion. The superior court appellate division reversed and remanded, holding that HSBC did not have to present any proof to obtain the default judgment against Aguilar.
So, why is this important? I have lost count of the number of people I speak to who have just been served with a civil complaint based on failure to make their credit card payments. Most of these people don't plan on filing a response because they think nothing bad can happen. Well, something bad can and will happen without the need for the credit card company to present any proof.
The Law Offices of James V. Sansone assists individuals file for bankruptcy protection under the United States Bankruptcy Code. We are located in Santa Rosa, California and serve clients throughout Sonoma County, Mendocino County, and Lake County, including Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Cotati, Rohnert Park, Sebastopol, Healdsburg, Sonoma, Kenwood, Glen Ellen, Windsor, Bodega Bay, Ukiah, Willits, Clearlake, Lakeport, and Kelseyville.