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How Do I Deal With A Judgment?

How do I deal with a judgment, should I file bankruptcy?

I recently received a summary judgment by mail from an attorney. I have received several different things from them, but never anything giving me an date for an hearing. I was wondering is that legal for them to have done that considering, I've sent two different responses to them disputing the amount I am being asked for. They now have added on an 8% annum as well as court costs. What can I do and should I just file bankruptcy?

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Bill's Answer
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I cannot comment on whether the law firm acted in accordance with the law. However, it is not uncommon for a creditor or a creditor's attorney to win a summary judgment against an individual. If you ever received a summons you should have done as it instructs! The summons provides information regarding the hearing. In the hearing, the judge will decide if the creditor should be allowed to collect the debt. If the debtor fails to appear, the judge has no choice but to decide on behalf of the creditor. It also common for the balance to accrue interest and fees over time, and reflect a higher amount.

One option you have is to contact the attorney representing the creditor and ask to arrange a payment plan to pay the debt off. Even with a judgment in place, the law firm must spend money to try to collect the debt. Getting a wage garnishment, levy, or lien takes time, and time to a law firm is money. The law firm may settle for a lump-sum payment. See "Debt Negotiation and Settlement Advice" before opening negotiations with a creditor. See "What Are My Debt Consolidation Options?" to learn more about your rights and options for resolving the debt. Bankruptcy is typically considered the last option.

Important! Get all settlement offers in writing before sending a check to the law firm or collection agent.

I encourage you to speak with a licensed bankruptcy attorney in your state to learn more about what your options are.

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

Best,

Bill

www.bills.com/

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5 Comments

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  • BH
    Sep, 2011
    Brad
    Grand Rapids, MI
    I just received a judgement against me. My income for the last 4yrs has averaged $8,500. With all the added interest and fees judgement amount was $8,900. I have NO assets of value. Books, clothes, household items and a old computer. No car. I live in someones home{no rent}. Short of garnishing my meager wages what options could creditor take in determining my assets. Home owners concerns are his possessions and how he can stop any turnover if the Sheriff shows up because of my problem. Thanks for your time.
    0 Votes

    • BA
      Sep, 2011
      Bill
      It is generally very unlikely that a creditor would come after your low-dollar assets, such as the personal property you described. Your landlord's property and assets should not be subject to any collection efforts, as he is not responsible for the debt.
      0 Votes

    • BH
      Sep, 2011
      Brad
      Grand Rapids, MI
      Thanks for the reply! I made them aware of my income at the beginning of the process yet they pursued? Not the landlord but a un-recognized domestic relationship that could end at anytime. His concerns if they due purse - what are his rights to say "that's mine"? I NEGLECTED to include an asset - I've never seen the paperwork to confirm this - I've apparently inherited a third share of my parents home when my mother died. My older brother lives there and pays for all expenses. My middle brother has his own and would NEVER live with my older brother :) If anything it would be my shelter if I am homeless in the future. There's also a lien against the home because my brother used it to secure a loan to buy another property. My understanding on that - they could{if they knew, different county} put a lien on it but not force a sale or get money from my brothers? Thanks for your time.
      0 Votes

    • BA
      Sep, 2011
      Bill
      I can't give you legal advice, but will share a few thoughts.

      It is my understanding that it would need to be clear that property is yours, for it to be at risk. I don't believe any property in the home can be taken willy-nilly.

      Any property with your name on title could end up encumbered by a lien, but the property should not end up at risk for a forced sale. The lien would need to be satisified, however, if the home is sold or refinanced.
      0 Votes

    • BH
      Sep, 2011
      Brad
      Grand Rapids, MI
      Thanks that gives me some peace of mind.
      0 Votes

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