All About Judgment & Credit Card Debt

5 years ago while in college I had a judgment filed by a credit card company, What can I do to settle the original amount?

I am 28 years old. 5 years ago while in college I had a judgment against me filed by a credit card company. I never seen the judgment or the papers saying I had a case and where the case was filed because I was currently living at school where my permanent residence was. What can I do to settle the original amount with out paying all these extra fees. Again I was never given a copy of the proceedings.

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Bill's Answer
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Bills.com Team
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  • One option is to file a motion to vacate the judgment.
  • Another option is to work out a lump-sum settlement with collection agent.
  • Consult with an attorney to discuss your options.

Unfortunately, the situation you describe is far too common. Aggressive collection attorneys and process servers are frequently careless about serving defendants properly, leading to default judgments against people who do not even know they were sued.

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Civil Procedure and You

Many are unaware of these judgments until their wages are garnished or their bank accounts levied. The first step to fighting the judgment against you is gathering evidence that you were not served with the summons as the creditor claims. Contact the court clerk for the county in which the lawsuit was filed; ask him or her how to obtain a copy of the "Return of Service" filed by the creditor. You will probably need to go to the court house to retrieve a copy of the document.

You will then want to find some evidence you were not living at the address shown on the Return of Service, and that you could not reasonably be expected to receive a summons served at that address (for example, show your family did not live at the address).

Since you were at school at the time, you could probably obtain documentation from the school showing your address at school and your permanent address. If you are able to show the summons was not served at one of your listed addresses, nor at an address where you could be reasonable expected to receive it, you may be able to file a "motion to set aside default judgment."

However, given the length of time that has passed since the judgment was entered, you will probably be fighting an uphill battle.

If you plan to pursue the course of action described above, I recommend you consult with an attorney in your area who can advise you on the strengths of your case and your state’s Code of Civil Procedure.

"Civil procedure" is the area of law that concerns the rules parties must follow when litigating a lawsuit. The failure to follow state or federal civil procedure rules can cause a plaintiff (the party bringing the complaint) or the defendant (the party defending the complaint) to lose the lawsuit regardless of the merits of the case. In colloquial terms, civil procedure is the act of dotting Is and crossing Ts.

Judgment & Credit Card Debt Option 1

If you are able to have the judgment set aside, it will not free you from your obligation to the creditor, however the amount that you owe will be up to the court.

The creditor may be able to ask for the principal plus five years interest; however, if you can show that they committed a fraud on the court, the court may bar them from charging interest for the past five years. Again, these are issues that you should discuss with a qualified attorney.

Judgment & Credit Card Debt Option 2

Another option would be to contact the creditor’s attorney and try to settle the judgment. In my opinion, this would probably be the easiest way to resolve this debt. Though I do not know the balance of the judgment in question, if you can come to the table with cash in hand the creditor may be willing to settle this debt for much less than the actual balance, especially given the age of the judgment.

You should probably plan on paying anywhere from 50% to 70% of the balance, though the creditor may be willing to take less, or may ask for more. Usually, if a creditor is going to accept a settlement, it wants payment in a short time frame, so if you make an offer, make sure you have the cash available. Also, make sure you get a letter from the creditor or the law firm outlining the terms of the agreement before you make any payment.

If you want a third party debt help firm to advise and represent you, go to the Bills.com debt relief savings center and get no-cost quotes from pre-screened service providers.

I hope his helps you make the right decision for your particular situation. If you would like more information, visit the Bills.com Debt Help Information page.

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

Best,

Bill

Bills.com

179 Comments

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  • 35x35
    Sep, 2012
    Erik
    Hi. I got served for medical debt. I asked for and was provided validation of the debt. I now have court date. Can I still settle before going to court? Thanks or your time and assistance.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2012
      Bill
      Courts look favorably on out-of-court settlement as a way to resolve a dispute between parties. If both sides are reasonable in their negotiations, an out-of-court settlement often results in a better solution than a court's decision. You have nothing to lose by negotiating.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2012
    m
    After applying for a mortgage, I found out that I had a judgment against a college credit card. Judgment is from Jan 08. I called about the debt, principle of 4900, total with interest 18K. Is it unwise to call and offer a cash settlement or seek legal council first?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2012
      Bill
      No choice you make in this matter is free from potential harm. If you do nothing, you won't qualify for the mortgage. If you contact the judgment-holder, it is possible that they will not accept a settlement offer and pursue collections through a wage garnishment or bank levy. Contacting them may wake a sleeping dog.

      Make sure to check your state's laws for how much interest can accrue post-judgment. Each state sets a limit on the interest rate a judgment-holder can charge. It seems to me that your debt should not have nearly quadrupled in just four years time.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2012
    Alice
    While trying to get qualified for a home loan, I found out that my husband had a court judgment against him filed in Nevada. The date on the credit report says it was decided in 2008. He hasn't been contacted by the creditor in at least three years, and I'm wondering if we should even try to contact them. He is not even sure what it was for, although it probably was for student loans. The statute of limitations for a judgment in Nevada is 10 years, and the last correspondence he received about it was in 2005. Is it worth it to try to pay it or just let it ride and hope it eventually goes away. His wages have never been garnished, and we've put the home search on hold for a couple years. Also, I know the creditor can access bank accounts, but can they access bank security boxes? And we can't just put the assets in my name because Nevada is a community property state. I've thought about consulting an attorney. Thoughts?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2012
      Bill
      If you contact your husband's judgment-creditor, there is a risk that collections could accelerate. If you can "let it ride" and still qualify for the mortgage, that seems best. If you can't qualify for the mortgage, while the judgment is not satisfied, then you have to pay or settle the debt or postpone qualifying for the mortgage.

      Creditors may not be aware of safety deposit boxes. If you have to make a declaration of all your property, you may have to include information about the contents of the safety deposit box.

      If you decide that you need to contact the creditor, I think that consulting with an attorney about how best to structure your assets is a great idea, especially given the fact that you're in a community property state.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2011
    Elizabeth
    Hi. My husband just received a letter in the mail yesterday about a judgement that was issued by Discover for almost $8,000. This is the first time we have heard about this debt in at least 4 years (since we have been together). He said that the credit limit on his card was about $4,000.00. There was no letters or anything before that. My husband is a police officer and for the past few years, we have been trying to fix his credit by paying off credit cards as we got our tax refunds and also made monthly payments to creditors for a settlement. But in June of this year, he was injured on the job and has been out of work since and on worker's compensation. We get about half of his pay every two weeks because his court time and other special details are not included in his hourly 40 hour work week pay. I am the one that has to handle this matter and I don't know who to talk to or what to do. With his pay cut, we are having a tough enough time paying bills let alone trying to come up with the money for a lawyer. Also, If they do garnish his wages, do my wages get included in his income? Will they take all of his money and leave my money to take care of the household bills? since he doesn't make much money, will they take some of my pay to compensate for it? Sorry I have so many questions, I am just clueless in this area. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2011
      Bill
      Garnishment rules vary by state, but the federal maximum for consumer debt is 25% of the judgment-debtor's net wages. In many states, the percentage taken can be reduced or eliminated if the judgment-debtor is the head of a household, or earns less than a certain amount. Consult with a lawyer in your state who has consumer law experience to learn more. Alternatively, contact the Legal Services Corp., which provides low- and no-income people no-cost legal services.
      1 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2011
    John
    I am going to court in Oct. vs Capital One. I intend to show up and contest the debt. If I lose will my assets outside of my county be subject to liens or just the assets (like savings accts.) within my county where the lawsuit was filed?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2011
      Bill
      Any non-exempt assets, regardless of their location, are at risk for lien. Any non-exempt financial accounts are at risk for account levy, as well.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2011
    Brianna
    I just received a letter from my employer that they will begin garnishing my wages due to a credit card bill that owe. Is it too late to offer a settlement... I was aware that this would happen, however the if the hearing isn't until January 2012, how are they garnishing already? Who would I call to offer a settlement too? The total amount is $6600, I could offer right now $4000, I have that saved... If I offer a settlement and possibly a payment plan, will that stop the garnishing of wages?
    4 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2011
      Bill
      By all means, contact the owner of the debt, which may be the law firm that possesses the judgment and filed the garnishment order. The law firm would rather receive a lump-sum settlement than wait for complete payment in a garnishment.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2011
    Jennifer
    I was divorced in April of 2010. In our agreement I deeded the marital home in PA over to my ex, as I was not on the mortgage note, only the deed. Before I had a chance to remove myself from the deed, a foreclosure summons was issued to both me and my ex (June 2010). I had already been living in NJ for 15 months, but they only sent the summons to the PA home where I no longer lived. I received it by hand from my ex a couple weeks later. I could not attend court so a default judgment was issued and now a lien is on my credit report. Is it too late to file a motion to vacate for improper service? Or if the court is aware of all the circumstances is that enough to have them vacate the judgment (ie, I was no longer an interested party in the property even though I was still listed on the deed)? Help I do not want this thing on my credit for 10 years!
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2011
      Bill
      An excellent question to ask a Pennsylvania lawyer who has experience in family law. The rules to vacate a judgment vary by state, and I am unqualified to say whether your circumstances meet Pennsylvania's requirements.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2011
    Shannon
    I was served a summons to appear in court regarding an outstanding credit card balance. (Capital One) The amount is approx. 1850.00. I ended up calling the law office/creditor to try to come up with some type of payment plan. I was unable to go to court because of the birth of my son. I was given a temporary repayment schedule (3 mos.) and I was told to call back to notify them of my financial situation. The bottom line is I am in this situation because we no longer had steady income coming in. Both my husband and I are back in school, he is working side jobs while I take care of the kids. We have lost our house and are now living with in-laws. We do not have savings and like I said very little income. I just spoke to the law firm and they are not budging on the amount owed. I will not have money to pay this until my huband gets out of school. (March) I don't know what to do.
    1 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2011
      Bill
      If the judgment is in your name only, then you should check to see if you are even subject to garnishment, should your employer be served notice to garnish your wages? You have to be left with at least $217.50 per week, after state & federal taxes, social security, and mandatory deductions, if any, for state disability or unemployment insurance are taken out of your pay. If you don't earn enough for them to garnish, then you just have to keep funds in the proverbial cookie jar, not in a bank account with your name tied to it, in order to protect them. Don't be pressured into a payment that is greater than what the creditor can extract from you by aggressive collections.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2011
    Les
    Out of the blue, I got a call from a collection agency asking about a past due credit card bill that was 12 years old. I didn't remember the name of the credit card and the address they gave me was in a different state. I don't remember having the credit card. the bill was for $1400 and the current bill with interest was ~1700. How would I check if I have ever had that card?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2011
      Bill
      In which state do you live? The debt has likely passed the statute of limitations. Validate the debt. Don't pay a penny. Don't accept responsibility. Make them prove you owe the debt. I don't think you can find out if you ever had an account, it is so long ago. You could try calling the original creditor, but it has likely fallen off of their records.

      I also recommend doing a search online for the name of the collection agency, to see if they have a reputation for collecting on expired debt.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2011
    Pat
    Will I be able to get a Satisfaction of Judgment from judgment creditor after I pay off the notice of levy and wage garnishment is complete?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2011
      Bill
      You should be able to.
      1 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2011
    Kim
    I am in the process of purchasing a home. I have 2 judgements on my credit report and I was prepared to pay them off after receiving an approval from the underwriter with conditions to satisfy these; however, after researching one (an apartment complex in 2006) I have found that the company has gone out of business after being bought out by another company. I contacted the current company to try to settle and was told to dispute it because that complex is no more and nobody will be there to give any response. The only problem with that is... I need it taken care of now so that I can close on this house. The second person (individual I rented from in 2007)that filed on me, I cannot locate because the information he gave to the courts is invalid now. I have contacted the courts and they say they can't do anything (which I find that hard to believe), I have contacted a lawyer and he told me my only option is to file with the 3 credit agencies. I feel like there is something that I can do to take care of this matter so I can close on this house. It doesn't make sense to me that my hands are tied in this matter and my waiting period will be 90 days. Do you have any helpful advice?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2011
      Bill
      The most creative solution I can come up with is to ask the lender if you can put money to cover the debts in an escrow account with them, so that it must be used to pay or settle the accounts. Then, dispute the debts ASAP.

      Discuss this with a lawyer, so the paperwork is drawn up that you get to keep whatever is in the escrow account if the debts are proved invalid or if a settlement for less than the full amount is accepted.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2011
    mary
    Is it possible to get a settle a debt from a credit card company after they have put a lien in place. I was sent a letter from the court in 2006 saying they were going to garnish my wages and I thought that would be the best thing for me since I had a very sick child and couldn't work a lot. I assumed they were garnishing my wages from what little I worked. I also didn't realize that they were going to add interest, I thought if they garnished my wages it would be for the original amount owed of $5,000 now it is up to $20,000. I never heard anything else from them and now I am trying to have my parents old house put in my name but I can't because I have this lien. So is it possible for me to make a smaller settlement with them even though I have a lien already?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2011
      Bill
      Yes, having a lien against you does not prevent you from reaching a settlement. Call a reputable debt settlement company or speak with an attorney.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2011
    Amelia
    Bill, I had a credit card with Chase which was made a judgement in Dec. 2008. The credit balance was $1,800.00. The judgement was for $3,000.00. I now would like to purchase a home and I need to settle this judgment. How do I negotiate this? I know I need to have money ready when I call, but I don't how to approach the negotiation? Could it be a lot more that I owe at this point and is it possible to settle the amount that was presented in court when the judgment initially began? Thanks so much. Amelia
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2011
      Bill
      It can be possible to settle a debt post-judgment, but it usually requires that the judgment-creditor feels that it will not be able to collect on the debt by garnishing your wages or levying your bank account. If you earn income that is garnishable, then the creditor has little incentive to accept a reduced pay-off settlement.

      Debts continue to grow, even after a judgment is entered, based on a rate set by the state in which the judgment was issued.

      You have little to lose by trying to settle, but don't have great hope that your offer will be accepted, if your income or assets are within the creditor's reach. Keep in mind that if you aren't being garnished now, due to the fact that you are 'under the radar,' contacting the creditor may step-up the creditor's collection efforts.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2011
    Karlette
    I have received a jugement creditors first set of written discovery in aid of enforcement of judgment from an atty here in Texas. I was late with a payment in 2002 on a capital one credit card and they raised the limit to something i could no longer pay. what is your advise in handling this issue.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2011
      Bill
      Consult with a Texas lawyer who has civil litigation or consumer law experience. He or she will review the interrogatories and the judgment in person, and will advise you accordingly.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2011
    Kathy
    Hi Bill-I have been working with a Debt Management Company for the past year and have resolved all accounts around 50% of what I owed, with the exception of DISCOVER whose refused anything below 80%. I have been unemployed since January (part of a RIF for us over 50) and have been served papers from a 3rd party collector requesting 80% of current balance of 6898.30 (when I went into the program the amount was $6,295.53). Our house had been foreclosed on, but, my husband was able to make up payments and my unemployment compensation. The first round of unemployment just ran out, but, we have been advised they will extend to January 2012. What/if any options do I have; I currently have $3,070.00 in an escrow account with the debt management company which they could take immediately and hopefully settle...!? Appreciate any feedback
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2011
      Bill
      It sounds like your debt settlement company is doing a good job by negotiating 50-cents-on-a-dollar settlements with most of the creditors. However, there are some creditors, like Discover in your case, that for whatever reason dig their heals in and stick to high settlement amounts. It is frustrating, but there is no requirement that every creditor must negotiate the same deal.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2011
    Patrick
    Hi, I recently received a summons for a suit from a law office that purchased my Bank of America credit card debt that ballooned from $3,000 in June of 2009(when I stopped paying because I couldn't afford it after they raised my rate) to roughly $4,800 as of Aug 2011. My question is should I try to settle before they pass a judgment and how much should I shoot for. I just got a new job that pays 40K a year but I owed $10,000 in back taxes among other debt such as student loans. What would be a suitable amount to try and settle for? By the way I never missed a payment on the credit card and they never really gave me a reason for raising my rate so I couldn't make the monthly payment to B of A. I live in Arizona.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2011
      Bill
      There is no exact formula for negotiating a settlement on a debt. Different factors influence the situation. For instance, if your income were exempt from garnishment and you had no assets, you could likely settle for less than if your income can be garnished. In the former case, the creditor may feel that, even with a judgment against you, it may not be able to collect. In the latter case, if a wage levy will allow it to collect, then the creditor may not settle at all.

      Still, you have nothing to lose by trying to negotiate a settlement. Start at 40%. If you can't negotiate a reduced payoff, try to work out some sort of payment plan.

      Separately, if you do not have one already, contact the IRS to establish a payment plan for your delinquent taxes, so you are not garnished by the IRS at your new job. The IRS should accept a monthly payment of about $170, as long as all of your tax returns are filed up-to-date.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2011
    Don
    Hello Bill. I have a judgment against me for $22,000 from AMX. I moved in Nov of 2010 and did a change of address. A month ago I got a bunch of mail from my old address. Of course there was paper work for me to go to court and the date had passed and also the judgment was settled in there favor. I had to short sell my home, and my wife lost her job. What should I do?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2011
      Bill
      What you should do in part depends on how much you earn, how you earn your money, whether your wife is also responsible for the debt, the assets in your name, and whether or not you have ever filed bankruptcy.

      If you have wages that can be garnished, then you are at risk for being garnished, now that there is a judgment against you. Also, your bank account can be levied.

      You need to know the laws in your state for collecting on debts. I think you should speak to a bankruptcy lawyer and go over the various options available. Your credit rating took a big hit from the short sale and from the American Express delinquencies and judgment, so the credit harm of a bankruptcy may not be a big negative, compared with the fresh start that bankruptcy may provide, if you qualify for a Chapter 7 that allows you to discharge your debts. Make sure to discuss including any deficiency balance from the short sale in the bankruptcy, too.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2011
      Don
      Im self employed. Im a musician. And I live in CA. I owe nothing from the short sell. it was settled paid in full. I will look into the chapter 7. As far as the AMX charges it was mainly to live because I was not able to work for awhile. So started using the card for bills ect..
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2011
    TC
    Hello. I have a civil judgment for 5100.00 from 2004 in TN. I wanted to make a settlement offer to clear it up and satisfy the debt. What would be a far settlement to expect? I just want to be prepared when I speak with them. Thanks
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2011
      Bill
      Start at 15 cents on the dollar, and take the negotiations from there.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2011
    angie
    Good morning from CA Bill. Thank you for having such a great site. I'm hoping you can give me some advice. Long story short I had a judegment placed on me in 2006 I have contacted the attorneys office to make payment arrangements to clear this off my record, in doing so the gal that I am dealing with asked me to pay out of pocket what I cant afford I explained that the judgement was against myself and my ex-boyfriend. I explained that I would pay the debt she will never get it from the other person in the condition that the interest is waived and monthly payments there after. She calimed that I needed to pay in full or she will garnish my wages. She sent me a letter stating that if i dont pay by the 15th then she will have to pursue garnishments. she responded to my email where I addressed very clear that I never agreed to her terms and that payment will be on hold until we can agree on an amount that is reasonable. I am telling her I am going to pay and she is sticking with her garnishment story. I dont want to get a lawyer or is that my only option. Do i have a right to be heard if they garnish my wages why am I being penalized if I contacted the attorney and said I wanted to pay. Her response to it all was to borrow money and pay her amount or she garnish my wages end of story. I offered 1000 upfront and 200 a month therafter on a 5500.00 debt. Thank you.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jul, 2011
      Bill
      I do not have much good news for you. The time for you to argue your case was in the trial. Once the plaintiff was awarded the judgment, your leverage to negotiate a settlement was greatly diminished. The judgment-creditor is under no obligation to be reasonable or accept a settlement now that they have the judgment in hand. Garnishment can proceed without notice or a hearing.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jun, 2011
    Laurie
    South Carolina resident--four years ago I had to leave my job due to family illness and an out-of-control teenager. At the time I had a credit card with Bank of America. The credit limit was $2000.00 and I could no longer pay it. I tried to work something out at $20 a month which I thought was better than nothing but the credit collection dept would not accept it. I was advised to sell what I owned by having a yard sale and also advised not to file for bankruptcy because they said it would cost more than the debt. (I should have filed) I was living on $320 a month (child support) at the time and SSI disability for my premature daughter. Then the SSI stopped. I explained this and could not get anyone to understand my offer was to pay what I could. From what I can tell the debt was sold to an Arrow Financial Services and represented by a Dillon Law firm out of Georgia. Months later I was served with papers I didn't even understand. I looked for a time and place on the papers thinking I would have a court date but there was none. I could, obviously, not afford a lawyer. Months went by and I received more paper work telling me a judgement had been levied against me. Yesterday I received a letter in the mail from Dorchester County (SC) sheriff's dept. notifying me that they will be coming to execute this judgement by taking my belongings. I have two children living with me in a home I don't own with furnishings that are NOT mine. We have been able to live in my in-laws second home in exchange for repairs/remodeling and in assisting them as they are elderly. Not even the utilities are in my name-they are in theirs. However, I am responsible for utility payments. If the sheriffs dept comes barreling in here removing items that don't belong to me I don't know what to do. I thought things were looking up because I finally got a job-part-time as swim instructor making 8.50 an hour (and I have a college degree but the market is so bad here I was lucky to get this) The letter states to call a civil court number to make payment arrangements but my concern is they will still want more than I can afford. The only thing I own is a 2001 Chrysler Town and country van with 90,000 given to me so I could find a job and be able to transport my children. My husband and I are amicable but separated and he owns a 2000 truck of some sort (small no power windows etc) which is in his name. My name is coming off our account but my check will be directly deposited. Should I have that stopped? What can they take? My vehicle is the only way I have to get to work or take my kids to the dr. or school. I own a wedding ring, college ring (which they will get over my dead body), books, a few pieces of furniture, clothes etc and my children's things? Will they take the kids toys and christmas money? Will they take their Squirrel club accounts we have jointly? Should I send them to relatives? Can they take my in-laws belongings from the house? (They don't live here.) Will they take my vehicle? Had I had a job and not had a mother with cancer I would gladly have paid. They have added so much extra interest and court attorney fees the debt is now over $4000 owed to a company I did not accrue the debt with (they bought it). We are drowning. Could I possibly file for backruptcy? If so what type? I am sorry to be so verbose. I just wanted to be clear. Please advise.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jun, 2011
      Bill
      Call your county bar association and ask for the name of the organization in your area that provides people with low- or no-income no-cost legal services. Make an appointment with that organization and bring all of the documents relating to the debt and legal actions against you to the meeting. The lawyer you meet will advise you according to your state's laws. Ask him or her about bankruptcy, and whether you qualify.

      I realize what I am about to write is not helpful to you, but for the benefit of other readers, Laurie's experience illustrates why a consumer should never accept or expect accurate legal advice from collection agents or original creditors. The customer service representative or collection agent has one job — convince the consumer to pay the debt. A collection agent or original creditor will never advise a consumer to hire a negotiator, pursue debt settlement, or contemplate bankruptcy because it is not in their employer's interest to do so.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jun, 2011
    Patricia
    In Florida garnishment is 100% for head of household, I live alone but have joint custody of my grandaughter who lives in NY, does the 100% apply to me if I'm alone?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jun, 2011
      Bill
      Your state of residency is the key issue here, and not the residency of your children or grandchildren. Consult with a lawyer in your state who has consumer law experience to learn more about your rights.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2011
    Allie
    Two weeks ago my bank account was frozen for a 1,000 judgement on a credit card the hold was for 1,700 the credit card was in my name, at the time my account was frozen I had 53.00 in my account this is a joint account. I live in PA. I called set up a payment arrangment talk to the attorney told him this is a joint account are pay check are directly deposit there have no money at the moment he told to sign the agreement fax and mail back hard copy which I did he told me the bank had to answer the question to show proof its a joint account he told me they would lift the hold been calling every other day was told they filed the paper work with the court house received the order to lift the hold on friday now i just have to wait for the courts to notify bank. There is 2 weeks of pay checks in my account we have no food or gas don't have my rent my kids have to lunches for school. How long does this take for the court to notify bank or are they stalling, because if we cancel direct deposit it take 2 week do we need an attorney I dont know what to do are they lying to me i have no proof they evened filed an order to lift HELP ME PLEASE I also told them as soon as the order was lifted I would gladly make my first payment right away.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      May, 2011
      Bill
      Lawyers are duty bound to tell the truth. If you learn the lawyer lied to you, file a complaint with your state bar. You need to include details of the conversations you had, including the promises made by the lawyer. By details, I mean the date and times of the conversations, and what was promised exactly. You cannot just say, "He (or she) lied to me," in your complaint. You must say, "On date X, Mr. Y said Z would occur on date A, but it did not happen ever," or words to that effect.

      Consult with a lawyer in your state who has experience with debt law. Obviously, with a frozen account, you cannot pay for a lawyer's time. Call your county bar association, and ask for the name of the organization that offers no-cost legal services to people in your area. Make an appointment with that organization, and bring all of the documents you have relating to the debt and the lawsuit to your meeting. The lawyer you meet will advise you accordingly.

      You mentioned a joint account. Joint accounts create more problems than they solve, as your anecdote illustrates painfully. For the benefit of other readers, I suggest people who need to share funds open separate accounts at the same bank or credit union. Use that institution's online banking function to transfer money between accounts electronically when necessary.

      Consider going to your bank or credit union today and have each person involved here open separate accounts. Each should then change their direct deposits to have their wages deposited into their own, and not joint, accounts.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jun, 2011
      Mary
      Hi Bill, I have a credit card judgement for $2000. from 09, the judgement was only in my name. I do not work or have any type of assets. The house, car and bank account are all only in my husband's name. Could the debt collector have a sherriff come for the furniture,etc. to collect on my debt? Everything was paid with my husband's paycheck. I know New Jersey is a common law state, but could they still try to do this? What else could they do, since i can't pay for this? Worried.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jun, 2011
      Bill
      In common law states, most creditors have no legal claim on a spouse's assets. The exceptions are medical debt, and possibly IRS tax debt. Consult with a New Jersey lawyer who has experience in consumer law to learn more about your rights and liabilities.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2011
    Julie
    Hi Bill, I mentioned before that I have a judgment in VA and at the time I was sued in VA, I had not been a resident there for over 13 years. I was unemployed an unable to appear in court. Before the suit went through I offered them my retirement to settle the debt and they refused, wanting all of the debt. I have lived in SC for 9 years and 5 years ago the case went to court resulting in a default judgment against me. I contacted the clerk of court in that county in VA and she told me that if the creditor files to domesticate the judgment, that SC will in fact garnish my wages. It seems unfair since they didn't sue me in my home state. Anyway, my attorney tried to settle the debt a week and a half ago, but they refused. They want the original balance, court costs, attorney fees, AND 18% interest for 5 years. They will not accept anything less. I saved up 4K to pay them, but with all the interest they want 8K, which I don't have. Should I continue saving and wait for them to try and domesticate the judgment or agree to a payment plan? I don't really trust them since they told my attorney that 5 years ago I agreed to a large payment followed by subsequent monthly payments and that I did not comply. Therefore, they are not willing to negotiate. This did not happen at all. I made them an offer from my retirement, and they refused. They also checked my credit yesterday before calling my attorney back. What should be my next step? Is it an automatic decision by a SC judge to honor the VA judgment and garnish my wages even though I was not a resident in VA? Will the judge take into consideration that I've tried twice to settle this and they won't settle? Interestingly, their attorney has sent me 3 letters over 5.5 years, which in my mind is not trying very hard to collect. My attorney thinks they may be sandbagging waiting for me to obtain assets they can take. What should I do next? Thanks, Bill!
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2011
      Bill
      If my math is correct, you were a SC resident for four years before the judgment was rendered in Virginia. The fact that you were a SC resident before the case went to trial is significant. Under South Carolina law, Wage garnishment is prohibited except in three cases:
      1. When money is owed to the government (e.g., delinquent taxes or federal student loan),
      2. When money is owed for child support, and
      3. When a garnishment order has been entered in another state while the consumer was a resident there and the consumer later moves to South Carolina. (Title 37, Chapter 5 — Consumer Protection Code)

      Therefore, it is not possible for the judgment-creditor to domesticate the judgment in South Carolina and obtain a wage garnishment given the facts you shared. It may, however, domesticate the judgment and levy your bank accounts or put a lien on any real estate titled in your name.

      In my humble opinion, the law firm/judgment-creditor is being a sharp, unwise negotiator. It would be wiser for it to take a $4,000 settlement today than wait and hope to collect more later. However, that is my opinion, and that and $5 gets you a vente at Starbucks.

      Talk to your lawyer about bankruptcy. I am not suggesting that bankruptcy is a wise choice, but learn if you qualify and how much the recalcitrant judgment-creditor will net if you file for bankruptcy. Suggest that your lawyer call the judgment-creditor and explain you two have talked about this option, and are prepared to pull the trigger on a Chapter 7 it if they do not accept a settlement for less than the full amount.

      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2011
      Julie
      Hey Bill, Thanks for the response. I spoke with the SC Dept. of Consumer Affairs today and they told me similiarly what you told me and reference SC Code 15-39-420 (which is very legal and difficult for a non-lawyer such as myself to understand). Two areas of concern were brought up and I thought I would ask your advice. 1. The Consumer Affairs Office asked me where my payroll department is located. I work for a small company in SC and the administrative part of the company is in Maryland (where they do billing and payroll). They advised me that Virginia could then issue a Writ of Garnishment in the state of Maryland (where garnishment is allowed) in oder to garnish my wages. That makes no sense to me since all my of my money is earned in SC, I reside in SC, and I pay taxes in SC. 2. They expressed concern since I was sued by a federal Credit Union. They seemed to think some federal laws would apply. In my opinion, since I was sued in a VA county court citing Virginia State Laws, they wouldn't be able to jump over to federal laws would they? My last question is the "Writ of Garnishment" different than the actual default judgment? The lawyer's letter told me that if he finds out where I'm working, that an immediate garnishment will be brought against me without further notice. That does not make sense to me, since in my opinion even if he issues a writ of garnishment in Maryland or tries to in SC, wouldn't he still have to domesticate the judgment and therefore, I would be notified? Please advise. Thanks!
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2011
      Bill
      Was the person you spoke to at the SC Office of Consumer Affairs a staff attorney? If so, then you received legal advice from a person who is licensed to practice law in South Carolina, and you can hold their opinion about your situation in higher regard than someone like me who is not licensed to practice law in South Carolina.

      As a South Carolina resident and employee working in South Carolina, you are subject to federal and South Carolina taxes, employment law, minimum wage, and so on, including wage garnishment rules. In my opinion, neither Virginia nor Maryland state employment or garnishment laws apply to you or your situation if your job site and residence is in South Carolina.

      Regarding the credit union's federal charter, I do not see that as relevant to your situation.

      Regarding the lawyer's claim about not giving you notice of a pending garnishment, there is an element of truth to that statement in some states. I do not know if that is an honest statement for Virginia or Maryland, however.

      Consult with a South Carolina lawyer who has experience in consumer law to learn more about your rights in a collections situation, and about domesticating sister-state judgments in South Carolina.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2011
      Julie
      Thanks for your response, Bill. I did speak to General Counsel at the SC Office of Consumer Affairs and that is what he told me. I hate to say it, but he seemed a bit crotchety and biased in his advice. He told me "why should they settle with you? I wouldn't." So I didn't trust his opinion completely. I have my own attorney, however he is more well versed in family law. Debt attornies all want me to file bankruptcy, which I'm trying to avoid. Thanks for the advice.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2011
    Mimi
    Citibank got default judgment on my debt of $8,000. I just paid less and less and then quit paying when my disabled daughter moved in with me 3 yrs ago. They are in S.Dakota--I'm in Tx. My income is SS and Municipal Gov. pension. Both are direct deposited in my bank acct (my daugher is co-signer). I was notified of Default Judgment a week ago. Can they attach my bank account and can I empty it first to keep it from happening? We need the money for food and medicine/expenses. It isn't much for two people. My daughter has no income (food stamps). Thank you.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2011
      Bill
      I surmise you and your daughter share a joint account. Joint accounts create more problems than they solve because the joint account is vulnerable to freeze or levy should one of the account holders have a judgment filed against them. If you have a joint account, close it. Open separate accounts at the same bank or credit union. Use that bank or credit union's online balance transfer mechanism to move funds from one account to the other as needed.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2011
      Mimi
      Your response triggered more questions. Can the creditor attach my social security and municipal pension? I am 76 and my daughter can sign on my acct in the event I am unable. If they can attach the money, how can I then transfer funds from a frozen account? Thanks in advance.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2011
      Bill
      A judgment-creditor may not garnish Social Security or pension benefits. Let us say for the sake of argument that Person A, the retiree, shares a joint account with Person B, a judgment debtor. The judgment-creditor can ask the court for a levy (sometimes called an account garnishment) on the joint account, and that request will be granted in all states that I am aware of. Person A may say, "But that was my money!" No, it is not. Because the account it joint, both parties have dominion and control over all funds, so a court will disagree and say the judgment-creditor can levy the entire amount.

      Let us say for the sake of argument that you are Person A, and that your daughter is Person B. If you have separate accounts, then if the judgment-creditor gets a levy order for the Person B (your daughter) bank account, the funds in your account will be untouched.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Dec, 2010
    Jeanne
    I recently obtained a copy of my credit report after being denied credit and saw that there was a default judgment against me from "Fingerhut" over a year ago. A few years ago I was being harassed by this "Finger hut" company and they said I owed them 1500.00. They had my childhood address(in Florida!), and claimed I had an account with them 10 yrs ago!!!! I was 16-17 at that time!!!! I thought it was some sort of a scam. I have no clue what they are talking about, and I am very upset. I do not have extra money right now to hire an attorney. Is there anything I can do?(By the way, I live in Indiana and this judgment was ordered in Indiana...not Florida)
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jan, 2011
      Bill
      You need to have the judgment vacated. You mentioned you cannot afford an attorney. Call your local bar association and ask for the name of the local organization that provides legal assistance to low- and no-income people in your area. Make an appointment with that organization and bring all of your documents relating to the debt and judgment to your meeting. An attorney will advise you accordingly.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jan, 2011
      Julie
      I had a credit card in VA and about a decade later I was unable to pay due to unemployment. I was a resident of SC when I defaulted on the credit card. A judgment was awarded against me about 4 years ago and the lawyer has sent me another letter recently indicating if he "finds out where I work" he will take steps to garnish my wages. My question is he just whistling dixie since he knows that I was a SC resident when the judgment was awarded and continue to be a SC resident currently? Also, even though he cannon garnish my wages, can he levy my bank account? I recently just got married and I don't want my husband's bank account (that now has my name on it) levied. Lastly, I would like to settle the debt however, the judgment includes attorney fees and 18% interest, thereby ballooning the original debt of $3700 to now almost $8000, which I cannot afford. Should I contact the attorney and settle the debt or is he in a position to accept the original debt of $3700? Thanks, Julie
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jan, 2011
      Julie
      One more question. When I was unemployed I defaulted on a Citibank and MBNA credit card. I cannot remember when/where I opened the accounts since I lived in Virginia, NC, GA, and finally SC. Does that mean, worse possible scenario, that I can be sued up through 6 years past the last payment (which was in 2006) since GA law considers credit cards written agreements? Or do they have to utilize the laws in the state in which I live (SC). I've lived in SC for 9 years, btw.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jan, 2011
      Bill
      Julie, given South Carolina's protections against wage garnishments from unsecured creditors, I believe that your wages cannot be levied. The judgment does give the creditor the ability to hit any bank account on which you are listed. I recommend that you have your name removed from the account you share with your spouse. The collection agent can choose to settle the account for less than the $8,000 current balance. I think it makes good sense to try to negotiate a reduced pay-off with the attorney. Don't pay anything without getting an agreement in writing. You want written confirmation that whatever payment arrangements you make (a lump sum or a number of monthly payments at $X per month) will be take as payment in full, fully releasing you from any further responsibility.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jan, 2011
      Bill
      Your creditors would be bound by the laws of South Carolina, your state of residence.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jan, 2011
      Eric
      If receive a judgment against me for credit card debt, can they go after my spouses assets?
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jan, 2011
      Bill
      The answer to your question depends on your state of residence. If you live in a community property state, then the "community's" assets (in other words, the personal and real property you and your spouse create and buy after you marry) and your community bank accounts are available to creditors who have a judgment against either you or your spouse. However, if you live in a common law state, then what is yours is yours and what is your spouse's is your spouse's. See the Bills.com table Statute of Limitations Laws by State to learn if you live in a community property state.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jan, 2011
      Julie
      I opened my credit card in VA. 15 years later I moved backed to SC. After being a SC resident for several years, I was unable to pay the credit card. I was then sued in VA and since I did not go to the hearing, a default judgment was entered against me. Which laws apply? VA laws or SC laws? Can they garnish my SC wages? Also, was it legal for them to sue me in VA when I was a resident of SC?
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jan, 2011
      Bill
      Civil procedure questions in general, and jurisdiction questions in particular are difficult for someone like me to answer because I rarely have enough information to formulate a precise answer. Generally speaking, a court has personal jurisdiction over the parties if both reside in the court's state. A court may have jurisdiction of an out-of-state resident if the resident owns real property in the court's state, or if the defendant agreed to the court's jurisdiction in a contract.

      Here, you may have signed a contract with the credit card issuer stating, among 100 other terms and conditions, the parties agreed to litigate any disputes using Virginia's laws. However, I am guessing, and I urge you to bring all of the documents you have relating to the credit card debt to a lawyer who has experience litigating civil cases to receive something more than my guess.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2011
      Victor
      I live in Texas. I was self-employed until 2007. I got a Business Credit Card from a Bank. The question is: if I am sued by the Bank for non-payment, will my properties ( such as my house, car etc)still be exempted as provided by the Homestead law in Texas? Thank you very much.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2011
      Bill
      If you have personal liability for a debt, Texas' homestead laws apply no matter if the debt was related to business or personal spending.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2011
      Victor
      Please allow me to ask a couple more questions: (1) the descriptions about personal property exemption in the Texas Homestead Codes is quite short (such as cars, animals etc), will it mean those items (such as computers, appliances etc) which is not on the list are not exempted? Can the Sheriff just come in my home to take non-exempt items away without prior notice? (2) after the judgment, is it mandatory for the debtor to attend a meeting with the creditor in front of a Judge to reveal his financial details? What actually will happens in such a meeting? Thank you again!
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2011
      Bill
      If your household consists of conventional consumer goods one would find at a garage sale, they would be exempt. On the other hand, if you own rare antique furniture, paintings by the old masters, George Washington's musket, luxury cars, or other highly valuable items that one might see at a Sotheby's auction, then those would not be protected by the homestead rules. Consult with a Texas attorney about your second question, which concerns Texas' civil procedure rules.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2011
      Rhonda
      I live in SC & owe $40,000 in unsecured debt. I owe about $75,000 on my home & $3,000 on my car. Because I've become disabled I've been unable to keep up w/the unsecured debt payments. What options do I have to keep my home & car? Also, my father has me listed on his bank accounts. Should I remove my name from them?
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2011
      Bill
      You did not state whether your creditors are already pursuing you for your credit card debts. At the point that anyone has a judgment against you that could be enforced by a bank levy, you do NOT want to be listed on a bank account with anyone else.

      You stated that you owe about $75,000 on your home. What is your home worth? Speak with a bankruptcy attorney. South Carolina offers very low exemptions for a person that declares bankruptcy, so it may not be a good solution to your problem. Still, I advise that you speak with a bankruptcy attorney, so that you know exactly what a creditor can do to you. This is especially important if you have equity in your home.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Dec, 2010
    lyla
    I received a summons from a credit card I had since in the 90's. In 2003 i lost my job because it relocated. I called credit company and let them know that I was out of a job, they told me to call when I find a job. I never got a job I had gotten sick and as a result could not work. In 2008 I started to receive disability. Well my bank since 1993 didn't notify me and tell me of a garnishment on my account. So on 12-22-10 my check hits account and it it is being held for this debt. My summons came on 12-21-10 in mail on 12-22-10 my disability check was not available to me, from my bank. On 12-21-10 I had mailed 3 checks to pay bills when my check hit the bank on 12-22-10. I talked to the creditor when I receive summons, they didn't even mentioning that there was a garnishment already attached to my bank account. My court date for the summons isn't until 1-28-11. I called the people I wrote the checks to, so that they wouldn't cash the checks, and they said that there was nothing that they could do to stop the checks from getting cashed. I called my bank whom I have had since 1993 they said that there was nothing that they could do about stopping the checks and that I would be charged fees. I filed a motion with the court on 12-23-10 for release of funds. What else can I do? By that being my only source of income, It has cause me not to be able to pay bills, buy food, get my medication, I'm on about 11 meds, I will run out on 12-27-10. Is there a law where I can be exempt from these debts, without filling bankruptcy? I live in Ind. I haven't used said credit card since 2003 nor did they send me updated ones.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Dec, 2010
      Bill
      If you were not given notice of the account garnishment/levy according your state's laws, then the court must halt the garnishment/levy, and start over. Consult with an attorney in your state to learn more about the laws affecting you and your other options.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2010
    Anthony
    (State of NC)..I owe a total of $32,000 in Debt which was for old Credit Card Debt..Collection Company in Virginia now owns Debt and is attempting to Collect. I rec'd an initial letter from them served through sheriff requesting payment( in May 2010)..I called and they wanted employer info etc to set up payment and I refused to give any info and had no further contact...Then rec'd a copy of a judgement but was not signed(Last week of June 2010). Two weeks later the same papers were signed and Filed with Clerks office..It says nothing of a court date but says I failed to appear???...So if a Judge did not sign it, is it Official??? What recourse do I have??? Also, if the real estate I own is jointly with my Wife's name on Deed, can they attach to the Real Estate which is in the same County as the Judgement???Also, can they notify my employer? If so, Im screwed and WILL lose my job...I cannot pay the balance and would be worse of in accepting a settlement since I'd have to pay taxes on the difference!!!HELP!!!!
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2010
    Bill
    I cannot offer an observation without seeing the documents in question. Contact your county bar association and learn the name of the local legal aid organization that provides legal advice to low- and no-income people in your area. Make an appointment with that organization and bring all of the documents relating to the debt and the documents you received from the court and the law firm that (apparently) filed suit against you. The attorney or paralegal at the legal aid organization will review your documents and advise you according to your state's laws.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2010
    jennifer
    I have received a judgement in Colorado on me from a appartment complex from a couple of years ago. I understand that the court will most likey garnish my checks but I received a letter from the collection agancy stating that the court will issue a warrent for my arrest if I do not contact them (the agency) with in a certain time frame. Can that happen, will the court issue a warrent for a bill that a judgement was made on?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2010
    Bill
    If you are summoned to court and fail to appear, then the court can issue a bench warrant and you can be arrested and jailed for defying the court. However, no one has been imprisoned for debt alone since the Civil War. The moral of my story is this: If a judge sends an invitation to appear in his or her court, do so. The invitation is not social or voluntary.
    1 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jun, 2010
    MeenaB
    Facts: Condo association got a default judgment against me, which I was able to have vacated/withdrawn. Open lien still remains on my home. Question: What procedure do I need to get the lien removed in Michigan? What form do I use?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jun, 2010
    Bill
    I am not licensed to practice law in Michigan, so my window into understanding Michigan's civil procedure is small. I am not aware of any specific form you can file in Michigan to lift a lien. Consult with a Michigan attorney or paralegal who works for an attorney about the mechanics of filing a pleading to remove a lien.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2010
    Bill
    Collections laws are state laws, so without knowing your state of residence I cannot offer any specific observations. Use Google or Bing to search your state government's Web sites to learn if the courts or the attorney general in your state address your issue.

    First, abandon the joint account. Second, open an account in your name only into which your Social Security and any pension benefits are deposited. Ask your bank or credit union to add a notation to this account that it contains only funds received from Social Security and pensions, and may not be levied or garnished. Third, open a second account into which you deposit fund from other sources, such as gifts, income from a part-time job or hobby, and so forth.

    What I am about to write will not help you now, but your experience illustrates why I urge people to avoid joint bank/credit union/financial institution accounts. If you want to exchange funds with another person on a regular basis, open separate accounts at the same financial institution. Then transfer funds between the accounts as needed.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2010
    wanda
    my mom and I were on a joint bank account. In February she passed away. On March 29 I found that my checking account had been frozen due to a levy from an outstanding bill of my moms. The bank would not tell me any information about the legal document since my name was not on it and gave me the number to the company that had placed the levy. Upon calling this collection agency, I told them that my mom had passed away and she could no longer pay this bill and that they money they were taking was my disability payments. The asked me to send a copy of the death certificate which I did. Later that day they stated they acknowledge that she was dead but would not take the steps to remove the levy. They also would not tell me who the bill was for since my name was not on it. Well, Social Security did not get my direct deposit stopped in time so they got another month of my disability. The bank is also aware that my mom is dead and that the deposits are from social security but they state they are just following the rules. They also will not let me remove my name from the account. I talked to an attorney but they won't do anything unless I pay them up front and can't pay them since my only income is disability which has been sent to the bank and is frozen. Any suggestions
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2010
    Tammy
    I have a judgement hearing for a collection attorney on a credit card. I cannot pay the amount or even half of it and I am in south Carolina. Can they garnish my wages? or can I set up monthly payments? What wil the court allow if I go to court and don't deny the charge but advise I can only make monthly payments due to a previous hospitalization which was the only reason I did not pay to begin with.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2010
    Bill
    South Carolina law does not allow wage garnishment as a remedy. See the Bills.com resources Collections Advice for other remedies available to a judgment-creditor. Appearing in court to discuss the matter with the judge is an excellent idea.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2010
    Bill
    You probably can, and I would be more positive in my response if I knew more about your situation. Consult with your bankruptcy attorney for a more precise answer.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2010
    Jay
    Here is my situation. I have a scheduled court appearance against American Express this coming June (2010). Problem is that while I have plans on filing for Chapter 7, I am not eligible to file August (2010). If I get a court judgement against me, can I still include this in my Bankruptcy?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2010
    Bill
    See the Bills.com resources Collections Advice and What Are My Debt Consolidation Options? to learn more about your rights and how to resolve the debt.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2010
    cat
    i live in nc.just got a civil summons for credit card for 7000. can't pay then can't pay now get 694.00 on ssi disabilit for 3 to 4 years now my rent is 450.00 a mouth light are to hight have no car no phone no cable no internet i have nothing i'm poor and will die poor
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2010
    Bill
    A statute of limitations provides an affirmative defense. This means the defendant needs to assert the defense in response to the suit, or at the time of trial. In other words, the statute of limitations defense must be raised in a timely manner by the defendant, and not after the fact. The court (the judge) does not have to look for a statute of limitations defense -- this burden is on the defendant. That is why it is never a good idea to sit passively, ignore a summons to appear, and allow a default judgment. If you are not an attorney and you really want to help your friend, then your best course of action is to bring her to an attorney in her state who can advise her regarding what rights she may have under her state's laws to try to unwind the judgment. Bring your checkbook and pay for the consultation. Vacating the judgment may not be possible. Your friend also needs advice on how long the judgment can be enforced in her state because judgments have their own statutes of limitation.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2010
    s
    I am trying to help a friend who just found out about a judgement for a credit card from 2001 (last date of activity) that the court in GA awarded this judgement in late 2006. I am unsure how to help. To my understanding the SOL ran out in 4 years in GA on this debt, so how can someone get a judgement on it two years after the SOL ran out?? How can I help her? They also tacked on about $1500 to a $350 dollar debt. She is a single mother of two children and she is also a full time student. Can you give us some insite? thanks
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2010
    Bill
    Contact the creditor, which is probably a collection agency, or the law firm representing the collection agency. Negotiate a deal for paying off the balance in a lump-sum. Start negotiations at 30 cents on the dollar and take it from there.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2010
    Lakee
    I went to college and lived in Massachusetts from 1997 - 2007. I defaulted on a couple of credit cards during college but repaid almost all of them. Apparently I had an Associates Visa credit card and they filed a judgement against me in 2001, in New Jersey. My parents lived there an never told me about a court summons. I ignored the judgement and was never contaced about it. This week a collection agency called to tell me that another judgement was filed against me in September of 2008. I didn't know about this and it was in New Jersey again. Now they want money from me for a settlement and I live in Texas! I just wanted to know what steps you recommend I take to solve this problem.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2010
    Bill
    Your question, and indeed the other questions in this message thread, seem simple, but the underlying issue crosses into what is known in the legal profession as "conflict of laws" and "remedies." Regarding the conflict of laws issue, there are many ways each state can decide how to handle a conflict of laws question in regards to a tort. (A contract dispute can be a tort.) I will not discuss them here, but the two primary are lex loci delicti, and Restatement (Second) of Conflict of Laws. I cannot determine for certain which approach South Carolina courts follow. Complicating this is that each state's laws of remedies handle the application of sister-state judgments differently.

    Certainly, a South Carolina court may find the ordering of a garnishment of a South Carolina resident's wages offensive to South Carolina law if the order was given while the defendant was a South Carolina resident. However, a South Carolina court may not find it offensive to order such a remedy if the now-South Carolina resident was a resident of a sister-state when the judgment was granted. Consult with a South Carolina attorney for an answer to your question. He or she will be able to analyze you circumstances in detail, and give you a precise answer.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2010
    jon
    We live in Florida and have a judgment against us. We are considering taking a job in South Carolina. My question is will living in South Carolina protect us from wage garnishment, we have only one income? Thanks, Jon
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2010
    Bill
    Because you are a South Carolina resident, South Carolina law applies in your situation, if I understand your message correctly. To be certain, consult with an attorney in South Carolina who has experience in civil litigation matters.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2010
    Justin
    i live in south carolina which is a non garnishment satate. I had a judgement against me in iowa. iowa allows garnishment. I work in south carolina. my question is can they garnish my wages in south carolina, even though judgement is from iowa.if they domesticate the judgement what states law applies, can they garnish me then.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2010
    Bill
    Yes they are. See the Bills.com resource Collection Laws and Statute of Limitations for more information.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2010
    Diane
    Are bank levys/real estate liens allowed in pennsylvania for unsecured debt?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Dec, 2009
    Bill
    The answer assumes that what you mean is, "When a debtor dies, must the decedent's assets be liquidated to pay his or her debts?" If that is your question, the answer is "yes." Please read, Am I Liable for My Deceased Spouse's Debts? to understand more about the issue. The hyperlink I just mentioned answers the question in the context of a husband and wife situation, but the basic concepts are the same for any family member.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Dec, 2009
    Skyler
    Do You Have to Sell Your House to Settle Credit Card Debt After Death?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Dec, 2009
    Bill
    Consult an attorney in NC who has experience in consumer law. You need to get the Massachusetts judgment vacated because 1) the service of process was defective, and 2) the Massachusetts court did not and does not have personal jurisdiction over you. Bank of America would be unable to use the court system in NC to collect the debt from you, should you raise the statute of limitations defense in a timely manner in a NC court.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Dec, 2009
    Pierrot
    I live in NC since 1994 never lived elsewhere. I had a Bank Of America Card that I stopped paying back in 2002 due to hardship...The Bank charged off my acct back in Feb of 2003. I was sued in Massachussett back in 2007. I didn't know it since I never lived there. I just pulled out my credit report and findout that CCAV of colorado won a judgment against me by default in the amt of 3000$. I called the court and obtain the original complaint which shows that they used my inlaws address to sue me. My wife was a user of that card and was removed as user before year 2000. SOL here in NC is 3 Years, In MA it is 6Y. I know they can't garnish my acct since NC is a non Garnishment State. My question is are they allow to serve me in another State and use my inlaw address? What about if my inlaws thought that was junk mail and throwed away all their mails? What can i do to fight this abuse.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Dec, 2009
    Bill
    Levy is a legal seizure of property to satisfy a debt. The rules for wage garnishment, lien, and levy vary by state, so I cannot tell you the exact steps that will take place or when in your instance. If there is a date indicated on the levy, then by all means believe the legal documents served. Since you know the inevitable outcome here, there is little reason to wait around until it is too late. Get your personal property out of the house now.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Dec, 2009
    Sarah
    My husband just received notice that they are going to levy his home (which he doesn't own, the bank does) that I live in. My name is not on it, nor is his name on any of my personal property. Is my personal property in his home safe or will they be able to take it? And what happens when a levy is placed on a home. Do they still padlock the door and auction everything off? If so,do they give notice before this occurs? Can I move my stuff out now?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Dec, 2009
    Bill
    Attend the hearing. See Collections Advice to start to learn more about the rights creditors and debtors have in the collections process. See also Judgment Garnishment to further educate yourself.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Dec, 2009
    Stefanie
    Hi, I am 22 years old, and being summoned to go to court tomorrow which is 12/21/09! This is over a credit card that i recieved in 2007..and haven't been able to make a payment since Dec. 2007, As of right now I live with my dad, and babysit, because its hard to find a job nowadays. So can they garnish anything from me? I do have a checking account, but its for my internet bill to be taking out of it..which i put like 15 dollars a month in there? Please Help! I don't know what to do!! My debt is for 2,309.64 for Midland Funding!
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Dec, 2009
    Bill
    You are asking me to predict the behavior of Citibank, which I cannot do. Whether a creditor pursues a debtor overseas depends on its policies, the history of the account, and the odds of making a successful recovery. Based on the cost of domesticating a judgment, my guess -- note my word choice -- is it makes little economic sense to domesticate a judgment for an account balance of less than $50,000. That does not mean Citi will pursue you because its collections cost estimates for Europe may be completely different from my assumptions. Please see Domesticate a Judgment Overseas for more on this subject. I realize my answer may not be satisfying. However, in my observation creditors do not always behave logically when pursuing debtors. Some creditors will sue debtors in the US for account balances totaling less than $2,000, but ignore other creditors with account balances in the tens of thousands. If there was a rhyme, reason, formula, or pattern I could divine from creditors and their behavior towards debtors I'd write a book about it and make a mint.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Dec, 2009
    Derek
    thanks for your help! I owe $60,000 to 1 card and can not make payment after 4 years of being with Citi( I am 7 months past due). I now live and work overseas(Europe). Will they come after me now or wait until I move back to America? Can they get a judgement to work in Europe and freeze my bank account? I will be here for 5+ years. I want to make payments, but at this point, i'm trying to start a new business overseas and will pay once I can.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Dec, 2009
    Bill
    Fax is fine in some jurisdictions, but may not be in yours. I do not know in which state you reside, so I cannot even venture a guess. Regarding the terms, make the letter simple and exactly what you discussed. Something like, "This payment of $X to CREDITOR_NAME hereby satisfies in full the debt {some description of the debt, including the account number} CREDITOR_NAME claims the undersigned owes. By accepting this payment, CREDITOR_NAME and its assigns waive all rights to collect any difference between $X and the present balance of this account. CREDITOR_NAME also agrees to report this account as "PAID IN FULL" to all consumer credit reporting agencies." You will certainly want to edit this to your needs. I encourage readers to suggest changes to this letter.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Dec, 2009
    Mike
    We are settling a credit card for $3200.00. They wanted my checking info over the phone so they could process it right away. I said I could send them a check in the mail after I recieve the settlement offer. They said they will fax the offer to me stating that my account will be settled. Then they will send FedX to pick up a certified check today. Is a fax acceptable? And what sort of verbage should it say?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Dec, 2009
    Bill
    Each call center has its own goals, which cascade down to goals for each customer service representative. The rep you are speaking to may be working with a hard limit of 33%. Your proposing $3,100 is about 30% of the original balance, which is 3% less than 33%. Next time you get on the phone with a customer service representative ask them if 33% is a call center policy, their goal for the month, or a representative's personal goal. Be friendly. Talk to more than one representative. Read Negotiate Debt for more tips and techniques.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Dec, 2009
    Mike
    When negotiating a credit card settlement with a collector, how do you know when they are bluffing? I am trying to settle a credit card balance of $10,500. My last offer was $3100. They keep on telling me that Bank of America won't go less than $3500. Should I stick with my offer. Are there any tell tale signs that help in knowing what they will settle for? Or am I making a big deal about a $400 difference?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Nov, 2009
    Bill
    First, get everything in writing. Second, I cannot answer your question about the payment plan you created with the attorney because I do not have the agreement you made with the attorney at hand. What does the agreement allow the creditor to do regarding the payments?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Nov, 2009
    Tony
    I have a recent judgement against me for $6,200 and was given the opportunity to make a $100 payments, which was done with their attorney. I was told that after 90 days that the collection agency would contact me and review my status. I have made those payments and now after the 90 days they said i have to make $200 payments or settle. The collection agency is Midland Credit Management. can they change the payment plan that i arranged with the attorney? I asked them to send my something in writing and they said that they can make this arrangements over the phone.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Nov, 2009
    Inwholise
    I'm reading some of these comments, and I want everybody to find a legal aid clinic or law school in your area and become your own best advocate. Credit card debt(unsecured debt) cannot garnish unemployment, social security checks, child support and many other forms of income. (School loans=secured debt you are out of luck) YOU CANNOT be arrested for credit card debt. (it is a civil matter) There is no debtor's prison. Become educated in the vile and venal ways debt collectors threaten. DO NOT agree to pay on unsecured debt that has been time-barred or SoL. Some states like NV and CA dismiss all unsecured debt after 4 years. You may need a attorney's help to send off letters to debt collectors( or look for a template on the web). Become familiar with the Fair debt collections practices act. Always send your mail certified. Download a phone script, never, ever, agree that the unsecured debt is yours, always refer to it as the alleged debt. Judgment's are often phony and a means of intimidation...if you get a judgment, call your nearest legal aid clinic for assistance. Find out about garnishment laws. Homes cannot be seized for unsecured debt. (make sure your home is homesteaded though. do it yourself at your states assessor's office, do not pay someone to do this for you)You may not have to declare bankruptcy sometimes you play the waiting game. Let the statute of limitations run out and never agree to pay old debt, not even one dollar. Quote the FDCPA and stop debt collectors from harassing you. And everybody watch the March 27, 2009 Dateline episode, and I will assure you. You will never send a debt collector another penny. I'm in the same boat. Lost my job, ten thousand in credit card debt, used to be seventeen grand but I've paid off seven grand. I have no money. Unemployment ran out...put in over 200 applications, had 12 interviews, I'm college educated and pissed...I may not have any money, but I can become my own best advocate. Do not hesitate, do not listen to gossip. Educate yourself, pronto...and everybody... never, EVER let anyone make you feel like you have failed...
    4 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2009
    Bill
    See Collections Advice to start to learn more about the rights creditors and debtors have in the collections process. See also State Consumer Protection Laws and Exemptions to learn the basics about your state. One observation: The legal advice from collection agents is usually incomplete or wrong and is always self-serving. Therefore, do not believe what a collection agent told you, even if he or she calls himself an attorney.
    1 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2009
    mary
    I have a default judgement on a credit card from pressler & pressler in nj. I don't have a job or own anything of value such as a car,home, jewelry etc. A lawyer told me they can take my furniture, tv etc. is this true? I live in new jersey.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2009
    Bill
    Please see Is My Spouse Liable for My Credit Card Debt? Because I do not know in which state you reside, I cannot give you a more specific answer.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2009
    mary
    I have a default judgement on a credit card, it's only in my name. I don't have a job, assets or own a home. My husband has a job. My question is can his wages be garnised? What personal property can they take since i don't have anything of value.We have a car but it's in my husbands name only and the bank account is in his name only. Also could they go after his tax refund since he files jointly.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2009
    Bill
    Please see Is My Spouse Liable for My Credit Card Debt? and because Texas is a community property state, read the analysis in the section "Spousal liability in community property states." I urge you to consult with a Texas attorney who will be able to review all of the facts in your case and give you a more precise answer.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2009
    Kim
    In the state of Texas...if my husband has a judgement against him, can they levy my bank acct. if he is not on the acct? From what I understand they cannot touch our wages.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2009
    Bill
    Can't give you a good answer. It depends on the jurisdiction, and how vigorous the creditor is in enforcing its right to collect the debt.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2009
    demetria
    after a judgement has been filed against you for a credit card debt about how long would it be before garnishment or bank levey begins or does a notice to appear in court has to happen first.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2009
    Bill
    At the risk of sounding like a Pollyanna, today's terrible economy will rebound, and you may find yourself in the future with opportunities to start a new business. When those opportunities arise, you will be able to take advantage of them if you start to work now on resolving your debts. Bankruptcy may be your best option. See What Are My Debt Resolution Options? and Collections Advice to learn your options and the consequences of doing nothing.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2009
    gEORGE
    I believed i got serve for cc in ca from citi. $20,000. I am self employ but will be closing it down. I short sold my house and both of my cars got repo. THis all happen in 8 month this year. I bascially have no assets. I talk to lawyer for bankrup, but he is charging $3500. to take the case. I got levy by the Board of Equ. for not paying the company tax. Can i just ignor everything since i have nothing. Single,I owed upside down on the house will be $120,000. $60,000+ on all cc debit. The company has $5500 in debet also. No Money to pay any body..
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2009
    Bill
    As I read Title 37 - Consumer Protection Code of the South Carolina Code of Laws, levy is not a prohibited remedy except in narrow circumstances. Read the statute to see if your facts match those circumstances.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2009
    Dan
    Can a debt collector(for an unsecured debt) levy a bank account in South Carolina?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2009
    Bill
    Under Section 207 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 407), no creditor, other than the federal government or a court ordering payment of child support, may garnish Social Security benefits. However, if your benefits are co-mingled in a bank account with funds from other sources, then that bank account may be levied. Accordingly, recipients of retirement benefits or Social Security benefits should deposit those funds into separate accounts and not co-mingle income or gifts in those accounts. Regarding your other rights, see Collections Advice. To your question, it is unlikely a credit card company will foreclose on a lien placed on your property over a $23,000 or $5,000 debt -- the PR implications are enormous and all bad.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2009
    JUDY
    I HAVE APPLIED FOR SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY. HAVE NO INCOME AND RECEIVE FOOD STAMPS. I OWN MY HOME IN NC SO NO MORTGAGE. I CAN'T PAY MY CREDIT CARDS ONE IS FOR 23,000.00 AND THE OTHER IS FOR 5,000.00. WILL THE COURTS MAKE ME SELL MY HOME? THANK YOU
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2009
    Bill
    See Collection Laws and Statute of Limitations for state-by-state information on judgment rates, garnishment rules, and statutes of limitation. The most conservative approach is to assume that the creditor will take any and all legal remedies available to collect the debt. The chances of a creditor using all available remedies corresponds to the size of the debt.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2009
    melissa
    I just got a judgment against me for a credit card debt in Maryland. I understand their next step will be placing a lien against my home. At what rate does the judgment accrue if I just let the lien sit there and do not pay it? Also, what are the chances they'll take it step up from the lien and go for wage garnishment? I don't intend to sell my home any time soon so the lien isn't as worrisome as the garnishment.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2009
    Bill
    I urge you to take all of the correspondence and other documents relating to this debt to the attorney who helped you file your bankruptcy.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2009
    terry
    i just recieved a judgement against me in pa.when i was served i answered what i thought was the complaint in the 10 day limit.i found out today i didnt have the proper forms so it was considered correspondents not an answer but they were stamped with date&time from my local court.at this time is there anything i can do?this is not my debt andthey say it is but i was in a ch.13 bankruptcy from 02-07 they collector says it was before that.then they told me it was from 06.i have 3 letters demanding 3 different amounts.help please.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2009
    Bill
    This is a serious issue that needs immediate attention. If you can afford it, see an attorney immediately. Bring all of the paperwork regarding the debt, and all of the court documents that your mother has received regarding the debt that led to this order. If you cannot afford an attorney, call your county bar association and find how to contact the local legal aid organization in your area that helps low- and no-income people who are facing these types of issues.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2009
    Yukie
    my mom rec'd Marshal's notice of execution today. she lives on social security and food stamps. I live with her. can the marshal levy MY property as well, since the lease is under my mom's name?..there's no date on the notice of when the marshal will come...i'd like to be there with my mom if they come...pls advise.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2009
    Bill
    Anything can stay on your credit report for up to 7 years.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2009
    jill
    when a judgment is paid how long will it be...before it will not affect your credit?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2009
    William
    You can get garnished, but first they win the judgment and then apply it. Check Illinois or any state specific stuff at the Bills dot com great resource here - Garnishment Limits You certainly can call the attorney that is collecting on behalf of the credit card company and either settle the debt or get on a payment plan, usually called a stipulated judgment.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2009
    Amy
    I just received notice to appear in court regarding a judgement for an old credit card bill. There is a ph# to the credit card company's atty. Can I contact them to try to arrange a payement plan to avoid the judgement? Also, can you wages be garnished for this in IL?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2009
    Bill
    If the creditor receives a judgment, yes. If you receive a summons to appear in court, be sure to appear. If you can negotiate a settlement before the court date, that will be better for everyone. Believe it or not, the creditor doesn't want to take you to court -- the creditor wants money. Going to court is expensive, and creditors (like you) want to save the expense of doing so.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2009
    BONNIE
    CAN YOUR WAGES BE GARNISHED IN LOUISIANA FOR CREDIT CARD DEBT?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2009
    Bill
    You have at least three issues occurring simultaneously here: being a loan scam victim, a foreclosure, and a summons to appear in court for a credit card debt. If there ever was anyone who needed a good attorney, it's you. Find one now. In the meantime, do not ignore the summons. Appear in court on the date indicated on the summons. Start educating yourself about bankruptcy and foreclosure.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2009
    Leanna
    My house is undergoing foreclosure, i'm a victim of a loan scam and she had forced me to file Chapter 13 to slow down the process of foreclosure. My Chapter 13 bankruptcy was auto dismissed since I didn't comply with mandatory documentations. After one month, I was served a summon from credit card debt of $25,000. Can I file Chapter 7 now?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jun, 2009
    Mark
    The answer to your question depends largely on the statue of limitations (SOL) in your state and when you made your last payment. I cannot tell how long ago you made your last payment, so I cannot tell you whether the SOL on this account expired. If your state’s SOL for collection of credit card debt has expired, the creditor should be time-barred from suing you to collect on this debt. Keep in mind that in most states, the SOL begins running from the date you last made a payment on the account; the payment you made to the collector recently, even though you closed the account to prevent the payment from being processed, may affect the expiration of the SOL on this account, depending on Missouri state law. I encourage you to consult an attorney in Missouri to help you determine if the SOL has expired on this account, and if it has not, when it will expire. You should also keep in mind that the expiration of the SOL does not prevent a creditor from calling you to collect on the debt; it simply provides you a defense in court if the creditor files suit. However, keep in mind that the SOL for collection of debts and the time period that they can stay on your credit report are different! Accounts can be reported on your credit report for seven years from the date of last payment. You may be able to get them off faster if you dispute the debts and the creditor is unable to verify them.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jun, 2009
    Sandy
    I have two credit cards that I have not paid on since 2003. They have been turned over to numerous collection agencies over the years. I live in MO and there is a 5 year statute of limitation on open-ended accounts. What can these collection agencies do to me and when will they come off of my credit report? We are preparing to purchase a house in the next 3 months and I don't know what to expect. All of these collection agencies and the underlying debt are still on my credit report. Some indicate they will not come off until 2010.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jun, 2009
    Bill
    As this is a judgment, my first suggestion to you is to contact a legal professional as soon as possible to see if there is a way for you to setup a payment arrangement. You should not ignore this notice at any cost. As far as liens on your property are concerned, it is a possibility in the state of SC. If you co-own the properties with your husband, then they can place a lien on your home even if your husband is not on the card.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jul, 2011
      donna
      I have the same type of situation with discover card. If there is a judgment, can they levy my bank account or car? I have no real estate and no wages, just soc security income. also if I move to another state will the state laws apply where the default was and wehre the judgment was filed or will it follow?
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jul, 2011
      Bill
      The answer to your question is very fact dependent. Consult with a lawyer in your present state of residence for a precise answer to your question.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jun, 2009
    Gail
    I have a judgment for over $23,000.00 placed on me by Discover. I recieved a letter from the Dioscover lawyer that if I don't call the number listed on the letter within 15 days that they plan to suggest to Discover that they send a notice to the sheriff in my county to levy against my personal and real property. We have 2 mortgages on our home and real estate. The credit card is in my name but not my husband's. Can they have a marshall come into my home and take my personal property. Again, I live in South Carolina.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jun, 2009
    Bill
    Unfortunately, no debt relief or debt consolidation company would be willing to work with it as the creditor will most likely be unwilling to negotiate, as they already have a judgment against you. Your best bet will be to contact the attorney and try and work out a payment arrangement that is amicable to both of you. You will have to be persistent as they might be inflexible at first.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jun, 2009
    Brandi
    I had a judgment placed against me about a year ago in ohio. I wrote the attorney to request payment arrangements and never got a response. A few months ago I began receiving letters in the mail stating that I have to pay the full amount, 25% of my pay every pay period, or be garnished. My question is can this be consolidated into one monthly payment through some kind of debt help/relief services? I am paying almost $400 a month which is killing me right now until my car is paid off in february.
    1 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2009
    Nith
    If a judgment has been passed, there is little you can do to stop it from appearing on your credit report. If you have the money, you should contact the creditor and reach an agreement to pay-off the account, but make sure that they agree (in writing) to report the debt paid on your credit report.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2009
    Jessica
    First, I was just served with a judgment today and I live in VA. I received a summons about 3 months ago with a court date. I went to the first court date and spoke to the man representing the credit card company. I tried to work out a lesser but paid in full amount. I also tried to explain to the man that I had a lawsuit going for 30,000 of unpaid wages that was due to be settled within the next 6 months. To put it simple, I couldn't come up with the full amount that soon. Then another summons was served, to which I realized the day after that I missed court. Now, I received this judgment in the mail Monday and today received a notice from my bank that they have taken my funds in the account to help satisfy this judgment. Basically, I have a few questions: Can they take every penny I have in my checking account? What about my checks that haven't cleared out yet? Should I clean out my other bank accounts? Can I do anything at this point to avoid this on my credit report? I have just been paid off from a lawsuit about a week ago, and I have the amount they are putting the judgment on for. If I pay it, will it make any difference on my credit report? If I don't pay it, what will happen? How long will it be on my credit report? Either way? Should I file for bankruptcy? Very soon, my husband and I are looking to purchase a home. What would be the best way to resolve this to better our chances on getting a decent mortgage rate? Thank you, Jessica
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2009
    Bill
    You can certainly seek counsel from an attorney and discuss bankruptcy and also options for possibly suing your creditor if indeed service was not given properly. Sorry and good luck. I sure hope you are able to find a good and honest attorney that can help you out.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2009
    KRSTANG
    Well like others above I have a judgement they claim I was served back in 2007 and so on...Well I recieved a denial from a credit card and requested my credit report and seen this information..2 days later my credit union sent me a notice from this so call attorney requesting information about what I put on my application for a checking acct and again these people lied and said I was mailed/served a copy of this notice earlier in the month, how can these people get away with all these lies?? I went to the court to look at this judgement and in the paerwork there is even a letter stating someone served papers on a child while someone was visiting my area and this person forwarded them back to the court house, of course I requested a copy of the whole file including that letter but now what? The letter stated the bank has to turn over the info on the 29 and I only recieved a copy from my bank on a friday the 26th so I couldnt seek any advice or nothing to stop it. There must be a way to bring this back before the judge. I live in California, where can I look for more information, before I have to pull money from ?? to speak to a attorney...One last thing I onlyy used that bank account for the credit union to deposit child support checks can they take that money??
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2009
    Joseph
    North Carolina is not a community property state, so if this card is in your name only, your husband should be safe from any creditor action. I also checked for the wage garnishment laws in NC and it seems that 100% of your wages are protected from creditor garnishment. But just to be sure, I would consult with an attorney licensed to practice in your state about the ramifications of not paying on such a large amount.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2009
    Deana
    I live in NC and have 23K debt on 1 credit card. This is the only debt that I owe. I am a stay at home mom, therefore I am unemployed. My husband can no longer afford the payments and we are thinking about dumping it. Since the card is in my name only, can they garnish my husbands salary or will this affect his credit in any way? We are also thinking about openging a new bank account so that they can not clean our current one out. I am not worried about my credit since the mortgage is in his name and both of our vehicles are paid for. Thanks in advance for any advice.
    1 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2009
    Audrey
    I live in Texas and am wondering what would happen if I default on my credit card debts. I have talked to several people that have done this and just didn't pay on the cards and after a couple years they stopped harrassing them. I don't know what to do, any advice. I have an appointment to file for bankruptcy but have been told by several people that in Texas there is nothing the companys can do to you. I don't work am on disability and a death benefit from my husband. All this is a result of a terrible situation that happened. Can you give me any info on this
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2009
    Bill
    Texas has a lot of protection for consumers, against creditor action. While I don't think that you have to file for Bankruptcy just on account of the credit cards, defaulting on them will definitely have a long term impact on your credit. But, as you state that your only income is from disability, being that disability income is protected from bankruptcy, you should definitely get that consultation from the bankruptcy attorney. If you qualify for a Chapter 7 filing, then you will not have to pay any of your debts and will get a fresh start.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2009
    Bill
    A judgment will stay on your report for 7 years or more, you cannot change that even after you pay it off.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2009
    lesha
    does a judgement stay on your credit report for seven years or can you petition for it to be taken off once it has been paid
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2009
    Sam
    Generally speaking, a judgment can only be enforced in the state in which it was issued; in order to execute its Georgia judgment in South Carolina, your husband’s creditor would likely need to file a “motion to domesticate” its Georgia judgment with your local courts in SC. When an out-of-state judgment is domesticated, the creditor is normally required to abide by the same laws regarding judgment execution as any other judgment creditor; the fact that this is a Georgia judgment should not allow the creditor to garnish your husband’s wages in SC. If your husband’s company is headquartered in GA, it could explain why he was garnished, as assets in GA are still subject to execution even though you moved to SC. If you still have any other assets in GA, the creditor would likely be able to execute against those assets without having its judgment domesticated in SC. Since I do not know the details of your situation, I cannot determine specifically why your husband’s wages are still being garnished. I strongly advise your and your husband to consult with an attorney in SC as soon as possible to discuss the garnishment and bank levy, and what actions your husband can take to shield himself from the creditor’s collection efforts.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2009
    Arlien
    My Husband had a judgement placed on him from a credit card debt(that he was unaware of) back in 8/2002 he then lived in Georgia. His bank account was recently lieved back in October of 2008 for a partial amount, then wages garnished in January of 2009 for a continuation of that previous garnishment. My question is, we now live in South Carolina that does not allow wage garnishment, but they are now garnishing his wages as if he lives in Georgia, isn't this illegal? Would they go by the first judgement or by the second one? SCCLA 37-5-104 doesnt allow this if you live in the State of SC. He has been living here for 4 years, Is there a time limit in SC for a judgement to be collected? I am aware if you owe child support, taxes or the judgement was placed on you before you moved to SC they can collect. However, if this last judgement was placed on him while he lives in South Carolina, which will they go with? He was never aware of that one it was a default judgement probably. Help
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2009
    Bill
    Chris - If you were served a summons to appear in court and did not go on the specified date, then the court will usually pass a default judgment against you. Even if the statute of limitations had passed, you should have presented that in court, and the case would have been dismissed quite easily. By what you state in your question it looks like the collection agency did not give you full information as to what was going on. What you will need to do is to find out which court delivered this judgment and file an appeal there based on the facts of the case and just simply tell them your side of the story. It will be better if you do it with the help of an attorney, but if you really cannot find one, then with some work, you can get it done yourself. Your main defense will be the fact the statute of limitations had passed.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2009
    Chris
    I was served with legal forms saying that I had 30 days to "respond". I did respond to the junk creditor who was harasing me about an old credit card from years ago and should have been considered a "time barred debt" due to the debt being so old it was past the statute of limitaions in North Carolina (3 years). I responded to the collection agency within the 30 day deadline and was told that they were working to supply me with verification that this was actually my account. In the meantime, they appeared in court and was awarded a judgement that is easily 6 times the realistic amount that this account could ever be valued at (and that's if this was even my account - wasn't ever supplied with any account info). The court date came and went without my knowledge and now I have a rediculously inflated amount that they claim I am due. I am still arguing with the collection agency about whether this is my account and have been forced to make payments for about 4 months in the meantime to avoid having this collection agency reposessing my car and trying to take my possessions. What can I do to try to get this judgement reversed? What can I claim as a valid defense when I am in front of the judge? I probably need to contact an attorney, but when I look in the yellow pages or on the internet, all I find is Bankruptcy attorneys and I don't want bankruptcy.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2009
    Bill
    Diana, you will need to present the facts to the judge. You will have to document your reasons to fall behind. if the court is convinced then they will try and setup a payment agreement with the credit card company. If you have gone through a job loss or reduced hours at work, bring with you the paperwork that proves the same. Once the judge knows that there is no way you can keep up with the regular minimum payments he will probably ask for both the parties to come to an agreement on some sort of a payment plan. Nothing is guaranteed, but the more facts you bring to the table, it will help make your case stronger.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2009
    Diana
    I have been served by a credit card company I am 7 months behind in payment .I will go to court and answer to them. What can I ask the judge to do so my bank account or house is not levied ? I will make arrangements, is this something the judge will do? I would like to know the process alittle before i walk into court. Thank you Diana in Georgia
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2009
    Bill
    That really depends on whether the State laws. You have to keep in mind that all creditors will need to get a judgment in court before they can proceed with that kind of action. If the debt is small, then it is doubtful that they will go through all that effort. You can read more about your state laws here: http://www.bills.com/collection-laws/.
    2 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2011
      rodney
      . "my wife has a cc card judgment , can they put it on our house in Tennessee. or is it consider tenants by the entirety ?"
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2011
      Bill
      It is impossible to answer your question without reading the title. Take the title to your property to a Tennessee lawyer. He or she will review the exact wording of the title, and will advise you of your rights and liabilities regarding your spouse's debt.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2009
    george
    Can a credit card get a lien on my house if I am unable to pay a non secure credit card debt?
    2 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2009
    Sam
    I certainly understand your frustration given the circumstances you describe. However, the fact that this judgment was listed on your credit reports as a public record for the past 10 years does not change the fact that you have not paid the judgment, and therefore still owe the debt plus interest at the judgment rate allowed by law in the state where the judgment was entered. The judgment being reported on your credit report is not a substitute for your paying the amount owned, nor does the fact that the debt is no longer appearing on your credit report does not absolve you of liability. The federal law establishing a ten year period for which judgments can appear on a consumer’s credit report is unrelated to the length of time that a judgment can be collected, which is regulated by state law. In most states, judgments are initially valid for between ten and twenty years, and can be renewed if the judgment creditor makes a timely request to the court. Some states limit the number of times judgments can be renewed, but many states do not impose such a limit, meaning that in certain cases a judgment can remain valid and collectable indefinitely, as long as the creditor continues to requests renewals in a timely manner. Interest will continue to accrue at the legally proscribed judgment rate for the entire time that the judgment remains unpaid, which can add up to a huge sum of money for old judgments which have been renewed multiple times. A $5000 judgment can end up with a balance of many tens of thousands of dollars with the addition 20 or 30 years of accrued interest. While I know that the idea is unpleasant, my best advice would be to bite the bullet and pay the debt as soon as possible; the judgment is probably not going to disappear any time soon, and you would be better served to pay what is owed now rather than to allow more interest to accrue. The judgment creditor may be willing to settle for less than the full balance; I encourage you to contact the collector to discuss repayment and settlement options to determine the best way to proceed. I wish you the best of luck!
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2009
    Julian
    Hi, In short, this is my problem. I attended a school program over 15 yrs ago. Do to unforseen finances I could not finish the program. I withdrew from the school between 1990-1991. The remaining balance went to a judgement claim which i never recieved a notice. I joined the military in 1992. I was stationed in Germany in 2000 and has lived overseas since except for a short 1 yr tour in 2004-05 in the states. I am currently living in Japan. I requested a credit report several yrs ago and noticed the judgement on my credit which at that time was told it would remain for 10yrs. It first entered the judgement in 1998. Several months ago i requested another report and filed to have the judgement removed because it has been 10yrs. I received my roprt 2 mths ago and it was removed. Now the tricky part.. 2 weeks ago i received a letter in the mail from the same program requesting the same amount of money from over 10yrs ago and they have added 5yrs of interest. My question/concern is can they do this? It seems like a double jeopardy or something. How can they affect my credit for 10yrs and as soon as that time passes try to re-bill me for the same problem. I would have paid the bill earlier when i had payment arrangements with the company but when i talked with one of their worker, they were so rude, negative, made several threats and said i was going to jail. Now what do i do from here. I don't think i should have to pay this bill. I've done my time with this company, i can't replace those 10yrs of carrying this on my credit so i don't think i owe them a dime.I want to disconnect all ties from this agency. The amount in question is roughly $2,300 dollars not they say i owe $6,000. What do i do. Please advise. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2009
    Bill
    You will need to find out exactly who put this levy. It will most likely be due to a judgment on one of your accounts. you should check on your credit report for any judgments. Many times creditors will use the address on file for filing suits in court and if you moved out of that address without notifying the bank then there is a chance that they sent you the summons to appear in court to the older address and you did not receive it. If you do not respond to a court summons then the court will pass a default judgment against you, and that is what i suspect has happened in your case.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2009
    jean
    MY BANK AC MY BANK ACCOUNT WAS LEVIED. I NEVER RECEIVED ANY TYPE OF NOTICE. WHAT CAN I DO?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2009
    Bill
    That depends on your state laws for creditor judgments and also the repayment terms allowed by the court judgment. If the court has allowed wage garnishments, then depending on your state laws, they will garnish your paychecks until their dues are paid.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2009
    Patti
    After a credit card company has won judgment against you, how long do they have to collect from the judgment?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Dec, 2008
    Bill
    Unfortunately, the situation you describe is all too common. Many consumers who are struggling with debt are totally unaware that one of their creditors has filed a lawsuit against them until they have their wages garnished or their bank account levied due to a default judgment for failing to answer a court complaint. When a creditor files a lawsuit, it is required to serve a copy on the debtor, but that sometimes is not done properly due to an incorrect address or an unscrupulous process server. At this point, you could try to fight the judgment entered against you, but I think that would likely be an uphill battle, especially if you owe the money being demanded by the creditor. Even though the creditor did not receive much money as the result of its bank levy, it will take some time for the levy to be lifted. I would contact your bank to ask if there is any way to expedite the process of turning the funds over to the creditor; in some states, you can file a “voluntary release” with the bank, allowing it to release the funds in your account and lift the levy. You may also wish to contact the creditor’s attorney again to advise it of the fact that you only had $14 in the account it levied and try to work out a payment arrangement to prevent any further action by the creditor to execute on its judgment. In addition to levying your bank accounts, the creditor could garnish up to 10% of your gross wages and attempt to seize any non-exempt property you own (though it is very rare for a creditor to actually seize personal property—this is almost certainly just a threat). For more details of the New Jersey exemptions for judgment debtors, you can visit http://business.uschamber.com/P98/P98_12_assettables_NJ.asp. If you are not able to work out an agreement with the creditor which you can afford, you may want to consider filing for bankruptcy protection to resolve this debt and prevent any further enforcement action by the creditor. To learn more about bankruptcy, I invite you to visit the Bills.com bankruptcy resources page at http://www.bills.com/bankruptcy/. I strongly encourage you to consult with an attorney in New Jersey to discuss the potential impact of the judgment, what options you have to fight the judgment, and what other options are available to resolve the debt if the creditor refuses to work with you. I wish you the best of luck in finding an option to help you resolve this debt.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Dec, 2008
    elizabeth
    My story is pretty much the same as above: no notice of judgment. This is a NY judgemnt for 9056.00 I live in NJ. I learned of the judgment on Dec. 5 upon opening a letter from Wachovia bank which contained a copy of an information supeona and the restraining of 18,000 on my account which contained 14.00. I contacted the plaintiff's attorney who wants an immediate payment. I have no funds at this time. what can I do? Attorney said he would send a sheriff to pick up my personal property to satisfy the debt. Is this legal. My car was stolen last year so this is not an option. Woe is me.
    0 Votes