Alabama Collection Laws

What rights do creditors have under Alabama law to collect debts from consumers?

I owe money to a creditor in Alabama. What can the creditor do to try to collect the account from me?

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Bill's Answer
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Highlights


  • Alabama allows wage garnishment and account levies.
  • The Alabama statute of limitations on credit card debt is 3 years.
  • Consult with an attorney to learn more about your rights and liabilities.

A collection agent or law firm that owns a collection account is a creditor. A creditor has several legal means of collecting a debt. But before the creditor can start, the creditor must go to court to receive a judgment. See the Bills.com resource Served Summons and Complaint to learn more about this process.

The court may decide to grant a judgment to the creditor. A judgment is a declaration by a court that the creditor has the legal right to demand a wage garnishment, a levy on the debtor's bank accounts, and a lien on the debtor's property. A creditor that is granted a judgment is called a "judgment-creditor." Which of these tools the creditor will use depends on the circumstances. We discuss each of these remedies below.

Alabama Wage Garnishment

The most common method used by judgment-creditors to enforce judgments is wage garnishment. A judgment-creditor contacts your employer and requires the employer to deduct a certain portion of your wages each pay period and send the money to the creditor.

n most states, creditors may garnish between 10% and 25% of your wages, with the percentage allowed determined by state law. Garnishment of Social Security benefits or pensions for consumer debt is not allowed under federal law, but may be allowed for child support. See the Bills.com Wage Garnishment article to learn more.

Alabama garnishment rules are found in Title 35 Chapter 11 Article 5. In general, Alabama follows the federal rules for the amount of a garnishment, which allows up to 25% of a worker's wages to be garnished. See the Dept. of Labor's Employment Law Guide - Wage Garnishment and the Dept. of the Treasury's Answers About Garnishments. Municipal and state employees may be garnished.

Generally, 401k or other retirement funds are exempt from garnishment. It is advisable to have those funds specifically deposited into a separate bank account to ensure financial accounting if you are concerned with a garnishment on those payments.

Levy Bank Accounts

A levy means that the creditor has the right to take whatever money in a debtor's account and apply the funds to the balance of the judgment. Again, the procedure for levying bank accounts, as well as what amount, if any, a debtor can claim as exempt from the levy, is governed by state law. Many states exempt certain amounts and certain types of funds from bank levies, so a debtor should review his or her state's laws to find if a bank account can be levied. In some states levy is called attachment or account garnishment. The names may vary but the concept is the same.

In Alabama, administrative levy is allowed under for recovery of taxes and unpaid child support. In Alabama, levy of bank accounts is called garnishment. AlabamaLegalHelp.org offers online court forms a consumer can complete to request to stop a garnishment of a bank account.

If you reside in another state, see the Bills.com Account Levy resource to learn more about the general rules for this remedy.

Lien

A lien is an encumbrance -- a claim -- on a property. For example, if the debtor owns a home, a creditor with a judgment has the right to place a lien on the home, meaning that if the debtor sells or refinance the home, the debtor will be required to pay the judgment out of the proceeds of the sale or refinance. If the amount of the judgment is more than the amount of equity in your home, then the lien may prevent the debtor from selling or refinancing until the debtor can pay off the judgment.

Alabama laws governing liens are Title 35, Chapter 11. Under Section 6-9-211, "Every judgment, a certificate of which has been filed as provided in Section 6-9-210, shall be a lien in the county where filed on all property of the defendant which is subject to levy and sale under execution, and such lien shall continue for 10 years after the date of such judgment..." Mechanics and contractors (and similar laborers and professionals) have the right to place a lien on a property.

If you reside in another state, see the Bills.com Liens & How to Resolve Them article to learn more.

Alabama Statutes of Limitations

Each state has is own statute of limitations. The statute of limitations for Alabama is found in Title 6, Chapter 2. The statute of limitations for open accounts (credit cards) is 3 years (Section 6-2-37), written contracts are 6 or 10 years depending on the circumstances (Section 6-2-33 and 6-2-34), and spoken contracts are 6 years. An Alabama judgment is valid for 10 years, and can be revived for another 10 years (Section 6-9-191 and 6-9-192).

Collection agents violate the FDCPA if they file a debt collection lawsuit against a consumer after the statute of limitation expired (Kimber v. Federal Financial Corp. 668 F.Supp. 1480 (1987) and Basile v. Blatt, Hasenmiller, Liebsker & Moore LLC, 632 F. Supp. 2d 842, 845 (2009)). Unscrupulous collection agents sue in hopes the consumer will not know this rule.

Alabama Foreclosure

See the Bills.com resource Alabama foreclosure to learn more about the rules surrounding foreclosure in this state.

Recommendation

Consult with an Alabama attorney experienced in civil litigation to get precise answers to your questions about liens, levies, and garnishment in Alabama.

I hope this information helps you Find. Learn & Save.

Best,

Bill

Bills.com

52 Comments

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  • 35x35
    Mar, 2013
    Andrew
    My ex-wife lives in Alabama. We divorced in Texas. I appealed and have a court order for her to pay appeal lawyer costs of $22,000 in Texas. I have to pay her alimony of $1300 a month. Can I garnish the alimony that I pay her to pay off that debt? I am in the military and live in Virginia now so I can't afford to go back and forth to Alabama to settle this. What should I do?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2013
      Bill
      Consult with a Texas lawyer to learn what, if any, procedure you may follow to garnish the support payment. If the $1,300 payment you mentioned includes child support, I doubt a Texas family court would approve of a garnishment-like action. However, I am speculating, and am not a Texas lawyer, so I am not competent to give you advice regarding this matter.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2013
    Alicia
    I have a question regarding a civil judgment. I noticed after checking my credit report that I had a civil judgement from an old apartment complex filed in 7/28/2010. The amount is for $1,500, but I do not know what the charges are for. I gave a $700 or so deposit, which should have covered a months rental or any clean-up needed. I was never contacted about this debt and never signed any court documents stating I agreed with the debt or not. Can they garnish my check since it is already filed? Are there steps I can take to lower the debt or understand the debt?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jan, 2013
      Bill
      You seem surprised by the judgment, which is the result of a creditor filing a lawsuit against you, and your losing the lawsuit. State and federal civil procedure codes are clear in requiring a plaintiff (a party bringing a legal action to court) to give notice to the defendant (in this case you) of the pending lawsuit. Plaintiffs do so with a document called either a complaint or a summons and complaint that is served on you personally by a process server, by the US mail (if allowed in your state), or some other means intended to alert you to the action. Here, it appears the plaintiff failed to give you adequate notice of the complaint. If the plaintiff failed to follow your state's civil procedure rules, you can can ask the court to vacate (throw out) the judgment against you.

      Consult with a lawyer in your state who has consumer law or civil litigation experience. Bring all of the documents you have regarding your old lease, and the copy of your credit report showing the judgment to your meeting. Your lawyer will advise you if you can file a motion to vacate the judgment, and will help you do so.

      You asked what self-help steps you can take. Some county courts have Web sites that contain public documents regarding civil matters. Take a few minutes to see if the county you reside in now, or if different, the county where your old property was located, has any records online about your case. You may need to visit the county court house civil division in person to request a copy of the judgment filed against you.

      You asked about wage garnishment rules. Most states allow judgment-creditors to ask for a wage garnishment order. See the link I just mentioned to learn how much can be garnished from your disposable earnings.
      1 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2012
    Kyle
    I received a process of garnishment from a small claims judgement in 1998 that I assume was a default judgement since I was not aware of it until two weeks ago. I filed a claim for exemption as this judgement was for not fulfilling a health club contract term. I have a family of six, make less than $52K a year, and no assets other than personal belongings. Do I have a chance of having the exemption granted? Presently they are taking $636/month, and it has devastated our finances. Thanks.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2012
      Bill
      I cannot speak for the court with which you filed the exemption.

      You mentioned you were not aware of the judgment. You should have been had the creditor followed your state's civil procedure rules properly. Consult with a lawyer in your state who has civil litigation or consumer law experience. Ask him or her about filing a motion to vacate the judgment on the grounds that the plaintiff did not give the defendant (you) adequate and proper notice of the action filed against you. If this motion is granted, it will quash the judgment, which will void the wage garnishment.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2012
    Candice
    I live in Georgia and I was recently notified by my employer that my wages will be garnished. The Process of Garnishment was done in Alabama, but I have never lived in the state of Alabama. Apparently, I was supposed to have been notified that I had a case against me and I would have been able to defend myself, but I never received anything because I don't live at the address in Alabama that is listed on the Process of Garnishment. Due to the fact I am not in Alabama can I appeal the wage garneshment? I was trying to find information on this type of situation in Alabama garnishment laws, but have had no luck.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2012
      Bill
      Consult with a Georgia lawyer who has civil litigation experience immediately to file a motion to vacate the judgment. You have one or two arguments you can make in your motion. First, you did not receive notice of the action against you in Alabama. This is in violation of Alabama's civil procedure law. Second, you do not mention if the judgment-creditor is a collection agent or original creditor. If the Alabama action was taken by a collection agent, it did not follow the FDCPA, which requires collection agents to take legal action in a court convenient to the consumer.

      If the judgment-creditor is an original creditor, then it is possible the Alabama court had personal jurisdiction over you for reasons you did not mention, but that's complete speculation on my part. Which bring me back to my first point: Consult with a lawyer now to learn your rights and what actions you can take.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jun, 2012
    Jessica
    I was sued by my ex-landlord for a debt I do not owe him. He is claiming I damaged the apartment, which I didn't. We have been to court twice and the judge awarded him a judgment without hearing my side of the story. I am trying to figure out is there another way to handle this before he decides to garnish my wages. I live in Montgomery.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jun, 2012
      Bill
      Consult with a lawyer who has experience in appealing civil law. If the court transcript of your trial shows the court did not allow you to present a defense, then you have an excellent argument on appeal. Appellate work is very technical, even more so that trial work, and I do not recommend a consumer tackle an appeal on his or her own. As I mentioned, find a lawyer to help you.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2012
    T
    My question is for my fiance. He lives in Alabama and owes medical bills in excess of $70,000. He pays $10 to $50 on every bill each bill. He recently received a collection letter from the hospital, total due $50,000, reduced settlement offer is $42,000. They want the money with in a month. This is from 2009. He has been paying on this each month. He was also recently hospitalized at the same hospital and has just received another bill for $16,000. There is no way he can pay this. He has other outstanding bills he is paying on to individual doctors as well. What is the best way to handle this? I know he can not pay this, even paying on this every month it will never be paid off. HELP??? Would bankruptcy be the best option? Is there limitation of the number of years for collection of these medical bills?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      May, 2012
      Bill
      Medical debts are subject to the statute of limitations, but the fact that he has been paying on these debts means that the SOL has not strarted to run.

      Given the large size of his debts, I think that speaking with a bankruptcy attorney is a good choice. If he qualifies for Chapter 7 BK, he can file and discharge his debts or use that fact as leverage to negotiate settlements at a far lower cost than the settlement he was offered.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2012
    Kelly
    I performed medical services. I billed for services performed. Insurance paid in full with a check written out to patient and her attorney. The "been in a wreck, need a check" attorney has the insurance payment held in a "trust account because this money is the patient's because she paid her premium and because just in case she does not get enough money she may want to pay you only a fraction"...so the attorney states. The attorney is not communicating with me. How can I get paid without waiting on the case to settle and without waiting to see if it is enough money for her? The amount is just over $2400, which is within small claims allowance. How can I collect from her?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      May, 2012
      Bill
      I believe you answered your own question: File a small claims action against your now-former patient. Consult with a lawyer at each stage in this process to make certain you complete the small claims filing process properly. Be sure to respond to all reasonable requests for production of evidence in a timely manner, too. Customarily, the tables are tilted in the favor of plaintiffs in small claims action because the defendants are not represented by counsel. Your situation is the opposite, and working with a lawyer will help level the playing field for both parties.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2012
    David
    My question is, my father passed away in August of 2010. How long can creditors go after his estate, if it has not been probated yet? Since my father was married at the time, but separated from his wife, and most of the overdue credit is in her name. Or does the clock start once it goes to probate, and placed a notice in the local paper.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      May, 2012
      Bill
      Consult with a probate lawyer in your state to learn the answer to your question. Answers to these types of questions are state-specific, and the particular circumstances in each case matter.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2012
    Richard
    I own a bar in alabama, How do you collect on someone who has left their debit card for a tab walked out and called and cancelled their card, and went to run it and it is declined. Thanks, Rick
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2012
      Bill
      It seems to me that your options are:
      1. Take the person to small claims court.
      2. Consult with an attorney about the laws in Alabama regarding "defrauding an innkeeper."
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2012
    Christine
    I received a judgment of $93,000 for the child support arrears owed to me by my son's father. He is a resident of Alabama, married and the marital home is in his wife's name only. With Alabama being a community property state, am I able to place a lien on the martial residence for a Child Support Arrears of $93K?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2012
      Bill
      Alabama is not one of the community property states.

      Consult with a lawyer in Alabama to learn what remedies you may have available. If you can show a court the father is hiding assets in his spouse's name, you may be able to pursue those assets. I hope you find success.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2012
    Logan
    I was living with my roommate and she thinks she can get my SSI check taken from me so she can get it. She is saying I broke a window (which i did not) and she wants me to pay for it but she left me with some bills. Can she get my SSI check? I live in St. Clair County, Alabama.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jan, 2012
      Bill
      It is my understanding that Social Security benefits are now direct-deposited into beneficiaries bank or credit union accounts. Of course, I may be misinformed. If a person takes money from another's bank or credit union account, they violate state and federal law. If a person seizes another's Social Security benefit payment without a court order, they violate federal law. You asked if someone can take your benefit. The answer is yes, of course. Can someone take your Social Security benefit legally? No.

      See the Bills.com resource Social Security Garnishment to learn more.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2011
    James
    My wages are being garnished because of my dads debt and I wanted to know how can I stop the garnishment.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2011
      Bill
      Consult with a lawyer in your area who has consumer law or civil litigation experience to learn how to vacate the judgment and recover the funds unjustly taken from you. If you cannot afford a lawyer, call your county bar association and ask for the names of the organizations in your area that provide no-cost legal services to people with low or no income. Make an appointment with that organization, and bring all of the documents you have regarding the debt to your meeting. The lawyer you meet will advise you accordingly.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2011
    Cham
    I signed a private student loan with my co-signer in 2005 when I was 18. The loan check was issued to both parties, however the co-signer forged my signature and deposited the check into their personal checking account without my knowledge. I was not given access to that account therefore I did not have access to the student funds. I was told by the cosigner that the check did not come, so I assumed I was denied. After graduating in 2008 I received correspondence from the loan stating that I would need to repay the debt and that the debt was already past due. I have since disputed this debt since I did not have access to the funds, including filing a forgery police report. However, the company states that statue of limitations has expired. The bank that deposited the forged document will not take responsibility. I paid on the loan to keep my credit in good standing while in dispute, however after denied the help I needed I refused to pay. The loan has since gone to collections where I am being harassed for payment with threats of wage garnishment. Their argument is that I signed the MPN but not the check therefore I am responsible for the debt. What can I do to the cosigner to resolve this issue? What can I do to the collection agency and to the private loan lenders?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2011
      Bill
      Consult with a lawyer who has consumer law or civil litigation experience. He or she will analyze the documents you have, and will discuss your options. You may need to file a lawsuit against the other party and either the bank that cashed the check or the lender that issued the check as well. Remember that the bank in question is not your lawyer. I am not suggesting the banker you spoke to lied about your state's statute of limitations, but do you really expect a person in that position to give you a complete answer? Hire an advocate, a lawyer, to explain your option and represent you in your negotiations and possible litigation.
      1 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2011
    Mo
    I have a judgment against me. The credit card company sued me and was given a judgment by default. I think it was around 2002. In 2011 a totally different collection company is trying to collect the judgment, and they are threatening to sue me. My original debt was about 700, was sued for 1500 or 2500, now this new collection company wants to sue me for 5000. Can they do it? I would not mind to pay the original creditor through monthly payment( since my situation has gotten better) but I do not want to pay a dime to this junk debt buyer, what are my options?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2011
      Bill
      Validate the debt. If the collection agent cannot validate the debt, it may not attempt to collect it or report it to the consumer credit reporting agencies.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2011
    mike
    what is the minimum amount you can pay on a credit card to prevent them from pursuing judgments against you? ie: if you pay them something $10-$15 month and not your minimum payment are they able to take action in the state of alabama?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2011
      Bill
      The bit of common non-law you mentioned seems particularly strong in Alabama. Please see the Bills.com resource If I Pay a Small Amount on My Debt, Can I Be Sued? to learn why this urban myth is strong in Alabama, and what your options are for resolving your debt.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2011
    KATHY
    If a judgment is ruled in the favor of a landlord, can the landlord ask for a clear titled vehicle or personal property of the tenant to be rewarded as payment for the judgment?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2011
      Bill
      The answer to your question depends on the laws of your state, as well as the customary practices. It could be the case that you could be compelled to sell a vehicle, in order to satisfy a debt, depending on the area of jurisdiction.

      Check with a lawyer in your area to see how great the exposure your assets face, if any.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2011
    Victor
    I purchased a car in Florida around 2001. The car got repossessed. I've being living in Alabama for the past 10 years. Now, a collector is coming after me to pay this debt. Can they take me to court after all this time and make me pay the amount I owe? Even if the car was purchased in the state of Florida and is being more than ten years?They are calling me every date leaving voice mails, telling me they've got all my information- social security and Bank Account numbers- and that they're going to proceed to filing a claim with the local courts in Huntsville Alabama. Can they really do this?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2011
      Bill
      Consult with an Alabama attorney. The statute of limitations in Alabama can be either six or ten years for a written contract. An attorney will tell you whether you have a legal obligation to pay the debt, or whether the debt collector is trying to intimidate you.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2011
    summer
    I have a question. My husband and I had our credit report done two days ago. We were told my husbands credit was showing two different medical collection companies were trying to collect from him. These medical visits occurred in 2008 when he was 17 years old and living with his parents under his insurance. His mother obviously didn't pay the bills. When he turned 18 we got married, we have never received any bill from this hospital visit. Is my husband really responsible for this bill when it was done as a minor living with his parents? I live in Alabama and I do not know how our laws work regarding this issue. Thank you.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2011
      Bill
      I see two issues in your comment.
      1. Liability for the 2008 debt. In some jurisdictions, the local doctrine of necessaries rule states that minors have liability for required medical procedures. If this state has such a rule, the minor would have liability for the costs of these procedures, regardless of any medical insurance. Consult with a lawyer in the jurisdiction where the minor resided at the time to learn more about doctrine of necessaries rule, and if the then-minor had liability.
      2. Credit report accuracy. If the minor had no legal liability for the procedure, then he or she can argue that the derogatory appearing on the credit report is false and should be removed. However, if the minor had liability, then the derogatory is accurate.

      See the Bills.com Credit Report Dispute discussion to learn more about this procedure.

      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2011
    Lew
    I had credit card debt($10,000) on July, 2007. On September, 2007 I left USA, and moved to other country. I paid the credit card payment for a couple months after that. I think the statute of limitations(Alabama) has expired on my unpaid debt. However, how can I find out is there any enforcing judgment on me? What is going to happen when I come back to for a short visit?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      May, 2011
      Bill
      There should be no issue with you coming to the US to visit. The US Customs and Border Protection agents will not ask you about or be interested in your credit card debt.

      In order to find out if a judgment exists against you, you need to pull your credit report.

      Review your credit report and see if there is a judgment against you. The 'public records' area of your credit report is where judgments are listed. You can get a free credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com, although you need to access the Web site from within the United States. If you, a relative, or a friend whom yourtrust with your private informationcan't access the free report, you may need to go online to a site like gofreecredit.com in order to view a credit report. There will be a fee for the service, if you don't cancel anything you sign up for within a limited period of time.

      Even if there is no judgment, you can't safely assume that the debt will have expired due to the statute of limitations. The issue of 'tolling' could be present. Tolling can stop the clock from running on the SOL when you are out of the country, as the creditor has no fair chance to collect on the debt when you are abroad.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2011
    david
    From what point would the 3 year statue of limitation start on credit cards? From last payment made, when default happend or from date of charge off
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      May, 2011
      Bill
      None of the above, or more accurately, the answer depends on the state law in question. Customarily, it is the date the payment was due or, under some circumstances, it is the date of the debtor's last payment.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2011
    Susan
    In Oct. 2009 a judgment was placed against me. April of 2010 my wages were garnished for the judgment amount along w/ court cost and interest (12%). This debt was paid in full in 7 months- (Oct.2010). Just the other day I received an AMENDED Garnishment from the court, by the same creditor. The judgment amount is the same, same court cost, but a lot more interest was charged. At a higher interest rate-(35%). The paperwork indicated the full payment made but there is a balance due that they are trying to garnish. I received no notice from anyone stating that the interest rate was changed or even that the creditor was charging accrued interest during the time the payments were being made. I can't understand how a garnishment that was settled in Oct. can be charged many months later with more interest? And can do so without prior notice. I contacted the attorney for the creditor and he stated that the account can in fact accrue interest until paid in full. How was I (or my employer) to know it wasn't paid in full. I told him that as far as I was concerned it was paid as of last Oct. He states otherwise. This in now March! He said he contacted his client and would see if a more reasonable settlement could be reached. I was very adiment about never being contacted. I'm sure the interest amount was much less back in Nov.! He called me back and said that he was not allowed to remove any interest and would accept the interest amount accrued through Nov. - when it was paid in full. Again, this is March. If he is not allowed to waive or remove interest, then how can he say that by collecting the additional interest that my account will be closed? What if in a few months I get another garnishment notice saying that I owe interest from Nov. to March? This seems as though it is a endless cycle! not to mention, less than proper.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2011
      Bill
      I don't see where the authority lies to charge you an interest rate of 35%. My understanding is that a judgment debt accrues interest of 12%.

      I recommend that you seek a free consultation with an attorney in your area. You should ask if the interest is legal, whether the debt collector is violating any other laws or regulations, and how to get a fair and final accounting of the debt and the proper interest you should have been charged, so that you can put this issue behind you. Make sure that the proper interest was charged throughout your garnishment.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2011
      Susan
      The attorney for the client states they were able to charge 35.75% interest because that's what the contract stated. Also I just found out from the court that new "new AMENDED" copy is NOT a court order. The Judge did not sign this. Court records indicate that the matter has been paid in full as the first court order ordered.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2011
      Bill
      I commend you for doing good research! In your position, I would still seek a consultation with an attorney, because the debt collector may have violated the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA), the federal law that governs how a debt collector must behave. You may have a cause of action that will put money in your pocket. Generally, attorneys that work on FDCPA violation cases do so on a contingency basis, so you would not have to put out any money up front. br/>
      Lastly, if (and I emphasize IF) the attorney collecting the debt has done ANYTHING improper, you should report him to the state bar.
      1 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2011
    Daniel
    I and my elderly mother live in Alabama. She has about four credit cards with a total of credit card debt near $40,000. My name was added to two of the cards. She has a federal pension. I am unemployed. Neither my mother nor I own any real estate. She owns nothing of value. I am unemployed. All I own of value is a used car valued about $5,000. If she stops paying the credit cards, can the credit card people take my car? Daniel
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2011
      Bill
      Were you added as an authorized user to your Mom's accounts or as a joint account holder? If you are only an authorized user, then your Mom should easily be able to have you removed from the accounts. If you are not responsible for the accounts, then assets you hold solely in your name will not be subject to seizure.

      I recommend that your Mom and you speak with a bankruptcy attorney. You can get a free consultation. If your Mom can afford a monthly payment of about $800, look into debt settlement, as your Mom could cut her debt drastically in a debt settlement program.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2011
    SHANNON
    I live in Alabama, I had a credit card from approx. 11 yrs ago. This card started out as a 300.00 limit credit card and now the balance is over 1500.00 with late charges etc. I get mail all the time with attempts to collect this debt, my question is can the company still after this long of a time continue to try and collect and if not what can I do to get them to stop?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jan, 2011
      Bill
      The collection agent can contact an Alabama resident about a debt until the debt is paid. The Alabama statute of limitations on credit card debt is three years, which means that if the collection agent files a lawsuit against you in a Alabama court and you raise the statute of limitations affirmative defense, the court will dismiss the case. However, the court will not raise the defense for you — you must assert this defense on your own. See the Bills.com resource Alabama Collection Laws to learn more.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Dec, 2010
    Marie
    I had a credit card in my name only before I married my new husband. I did use it after we were married but he never has. That account became deliquent and now the credit card company is calling my new husband whose name is not even on the account and threatening to put a lien on the house. My name is not on the deed. They told him that I gave them his work and cell number which I did not do. They have called both his numbers repeatedly even after he has informed then that the debt is mine and mine alone and to stop calling him. My question is, if my name is not on the deed can they put a lien on the house? Also, my name is on some of the bank accounts, can they freeze those or take the money from them? I need to check but I also think the account has reached the SoL. Thank you for any answers you have for me.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Dec, 2010
      Are you an Alabama resident? If so, and the rest of my answer will assume you are an Alabama resident based on the page on which you left your question, if your spouse is not the joint owner of the account, then based on Alabama's family law, you and you alone have liability. Your spouse has none. The creditor is violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by contacting your spouse and asking anything beyond how to reach you. You have a cause of action (a legal reason to sue) the creditor for its behavior. Consult with an Alabama lawyer who has experience in consumer law to discuss filing a lawsuit against the creditor.

      Regarding joint financial account, should the creditor file a lawsuit against you regarding the debt and win, it will obtain a judgment. It may use this judgment to file a levy (sometimes called an account garnishment) to collect funds from your accounts and any joint accounts you have.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Dec, 2010
    Sandi
    I had a Capital One credit card with a balance of $1750 when I could no longer pay (03/2005). The account was charged off shortly thereafter for $2440 (increased by late fees and interest). I sold my home last week and learned the day before closing that there was a judgment against me for $3200 effective 08/2007. First I had heard of it. I was not able to close until I agreed to an escrow account for the attorney's office/collection agency that is handling the debt. I offered $2000 the day I learned of it, but their office said "capital one not likely to settle since you are selling your house and they will get the full amount". They said they would "present the offer to their client". That was a week ago. If no written settlement is presented to the title office by Dec. 8, they will release the full $4700 to the attorney's office (what they say i now owe). Please tell me if there is anything I can do to avoid them getting the entire amount. Does the $5000 homestead exemption in Alabama help me at all here? Or does it not apply since I sold my home. Can you please email me? I am desparate for advice. (I tried speaking to capital one directly, but they directed me to NCO, who said they couldn't do anything, and directed me to the attorney. Thanks, Sandi
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Dec, 2010
      Bill
      You are in a tough spot because the lien is a cloud on the title and unless you resolve the matter immediately the buyer has a legal excuse to withdraw from the deal. It is possible the judgment-creditor never gave you notice of the lien, which may be illegal in Alabama. However, you do not have time at this moment to gather evidence, file a lawsuit against the judgment-creditor, and so on. Consult with an Alabama attorney immediately. My guess — note that word choice — is he or she will advise you to pay the outstanding balance or something less if the judgment-creditor agrees to it, and then later sue the judgment-creditor for failure to follow Alabama's civil procedure rules. Again, talk to an Alabama lawyer now.
      0 Votes