Whom should I contact regarding a civil judgment?

Q: My ex-husband signed for a summons for me in 2012, but never told me. I did not respond due to being unaware, and a judgment in the amount of $1094 was placed against me for a credit card debt in May 2012. He received the notice of judgment, but again, never gave me the papers or even told me about it. I just found out about this, and I don’t know who to contact to arrange payments. Should I contact the attorney who sued me? And is it likely they’ll accept payments, because I cannot pay the amount in full at this time? (Jefferson Hills, PA)

A: That is unfortunate. If the judgment was already taken, your options are few as far as legal remedies go. You likely would have to pay an attorney to file a petition to open the default judgment. This can be done but the legal fees involved will likely exceed $1,094.00. If you owe the money your best bet would be to contact the attorney who filed the complaint and work out a payment plan. Beware of interest and legal fees tacked on. If you explain what happened, he or she may reduce the amount added on to the judgment. Good luck.