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Garnished Without Notice

Is there anyway to get a garnishment removed from your credit report?

I was told by my employer they received an order to garnish my wages. I was completely unaware of it because I was in a repayment plan with this credit card company. When I contacted them they said my payment arrangement was only for one of the 2 accounts I had with them even though in 2007-08 they had split the payment between the 2 accounts. I guess I assumed when they contacted me with a settlement amount and split the payment over 12 months that it included both accounts. They said they could not do anything about it now and to contact the attorney. I called and explained to the paralegal the situation and also asked why I never received anything about a judgment. He says they sent out a letter on 12/23/08 which I never received nor did I get the message he said he left on my voice mail at work. I tried to see if we could work out a settlement now but he said it was too late. I have to either pay it in full along with the court cost attached or let the garnishment go through and pay 5% interest. I am so angry and feel like something is very wrong here. Is there anything I can do at this point? And, is there anyway to get a garnishment removed from your credit report?

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Bill's Answer
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Generally speaking, a credit card company must file a lawsuit, serve you with a copy, and give you an opportunity to respond before a court will grant the creditor a judgment against you for the collection of your debt. As part of this process, the creditor is required to notify you of the legal action against you on several occasions, though I have certainly seen cases in which creditors failed to properly notify debtors of legal actions filed against them. Once it obtains a judgment, the creditor can proceed to execute on its judgment, including wage garnishment, and if it is unwilling to work with you to resolve the judgment, then your recourse may be very limited.

If you were not notified of the lawsuit that was filed against you, you may have grounds to file a motion with the court to set aside the judgment, which, if granted, should reopen the case and allow you to present any defenses you have to the creditor's claims. The problems you experienced while trying to make payments on your two accounts with this creditor may help bolster your case if you decide to file a motion to set aside the judgment against you.

I strongly encourage you to consult with an attorney licensed to practice law in your state to discuss the problems you are having with this creditor. An attorney should be able to explain your state's laws about the entry of judgments and what recourse is available to you in this situation. Also, he/she may be able to more effectively negotiate with the creditor to reach an amicable resolution of this dispute. I wish you the best of luck in your efforts to resolve these problems, and hope that the information I have provided helps you Find. Learn. Save.



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