You Could be the Subject of Court Action You Don't Know About

It’s a nightmarish scenario. Someone files a trumped up lawsuit against you without even knowing. A judge rules against you in your absence and you end up owing thousands of dollars.

Mark Woychik, fraud victim, said, “Once he’s got you, he will never let you go.”

Woychik is talking about the man who was selling his dream piece of property.

“It was a beautiful little five acre piece of land on a hillside with a southern exposure. I fell in love with the land,” said Woychik.

Woychik trusted the soft-spoken seller. But now $25,000 in legal fees later, he believes that was a serious mistake.

“We have spent countless hours, time, money trying to get justice. Not only trying to get justice but trying to get him out of our life,” Woychik explained.

Dean Kowalefski, US Postal Inspector, said, “Bernard Seidling would file bogus small claims actions in various courts throughout the state. He filed a lawsuit in a county in which the victim did not reside.”

He did it to Mark Woychik who, by the time he learned a court had ruled against him in his absence, was facing a judgement of more than $5,000.

“The victims didn’t know they were being victimized. They wouldn’t find out until they wanted to sell their home or buy a car,” Kowalefski explained.

“He preys on people who can’t afford lawyers and if they don’t get a lawyer, and they roll over and try to walk away, he will come after them for the last penny,” said Worchik.

Authorities say Seidling did it to 77 different victims--attempting to extort them out of more than $370,000.

But in the end Seidling did not get any from his victims. Instead he ended up being sentenced to 3 years in federal prison and fined $10,000.

But Woychik is convinced that’s not the end of this story.

“I have no doubt that after those three years are up, he’s coming after me,” Woychik said.

In the end, Woychik never got the property he tried to buy. Authorities say you can protect yourself from this sort of scam by regularly checking your credit report and running your name through the online listing of court cases in your state to make sure you’re not the subject of a court action you don’t know about.

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