Don't Panic if You Receive a Summons!

It's bad enough to be under the stress and pressure of having too much debt and not being in a position to make adequate payments, but now, you get a SUMMONS!

I'm going to explain not only why it happened, but also what you can do to take care of it.

 

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I think it was Tony Robbins who either used an acronym about FEAR:

WHAT IS FEAR?

  • False
  • Evidence that
  • Appears
  • Real

When you get a knock on the door and someone (sometimes a sheriff or police officer) hands you a summons and says, "You've been served", it can be a very fearful experience!

 

FIRST, DON'T PANIC!

 

Take a deep breath, sit down and slowly....I said slowly (I know how you feel) the summons.

Most of the time, a summons will read something like this:

"You are hereby required to appear and defend the complaint filed against you in the above-entitled cause within thirty (30) days from the date of service of this summons on you.  If you fail to appear and defend, the plaintiff will apply to the court for the relief demanded in the complaint."

It usually goes on to read:

"You must "appear" in this case or the other side will win automatically.  To "appear" your must file with the court a legal paper called a "motion" or "answer".  The "motion" or "answer" must be given to the court clerk or administrator within 30 days along with the required filing fee.  It must be in proper form and have proof of service on the plaintiff's lawyer or, if the plaintiff does not have a lawyer, proof of service on the plaintiff."

OK...now they have your attention! But, before you "get carried away", let's examine the SUMMONS carefully:

"You are hereby required to APPEAR and DEFEND the COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST YOU...

"APPEAR AND DEFEND"

I know it sounds like you must appear in court, but that's not what it means.  The phrase, "appear and defend" is further explained in the second paragraph. 

The second paragraph (above) also says that you must file an LEGAL PAPER called a MOTION or ANSWER.

This MOTION or ANSWER is, in fact a LEGAL PAPER that you would file with the court if you don't believe you owe or are responsible for the debt they are claiming you owe. 

Yes, it will cost you a fee  just to file your ANSWER, and it must be filed in the appropriate legal fashion.  This usually requires an ATTORNEY to be retained, which also costs you more money!

But, in most cases, the client or DEFENDANT in the claim actually owes the debt, it is not necessary to file an ANSWER.

So, the 30 days to appear and defend doesn't mean you have to go to court!

OK, so what should you do?

Here's what has happened so far:

When you have debts that you are unable to pay, the creditor will send nasty sounding letters and call and call and call (you probably have experience this already). 

If you cannot or do not respond by making some form of repayment, then the original creditor may decide to hand over to a COLLECTION AGENCCY or hire an ATTORNEY to file a CLAIM or  "COMPLAINT". 

Most of the time, the original creditor will use a DEBT COLLECTOR or DEBT COLLECTION AGENCY to attempt to get you to repay the debt. They will start by sending you letters that may sound threatening in an attempt to scare you into paying the debt.

And as you probably know, they will call constantly.  Even though we have laws that protect us from harassing phone calls from debt collectors, most people are not aware or do not know how to put a stop to these calls. 

The FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT clearly spells out what a debt collector CAN and CANNOT DO!

The good news is now, you can put a stop to those calls! 

As long as the account is still with the original creditor, they have the right to call you.  Now, they must do it according to the FDCPA (above), but you can't put a stop to the calls until the account is turned over to third party collection agency.

You must send a letter and they must stop calling (even though they can continue to send letters).

This will help:

 

STOP Collection Calls Free Sample Letter

 

But, even though you can and have put a stop to the calls, in most cases, they are not going to give up trying to collect on the debt.

See my blog on HOW TO DEAL WITH DEBT COLLECTORS for some good tips.

  • OK, you've receive the summons.
  • You understand that you don't have to appear in court in 30 days

Now what?

You should contact the attorney who filed the claim and attempt to SETTLE THE DEBT by making a lump sum payment for less than the balance due. 

This is not always an easy thing to do at this point because the PLAINTIFF (the creditor or debt collector) has had to pay a pretty hefty FEE TO THE ATTORNEY to file the claim, prepare the summons and have it delivered to you.

 

Yes, many times you can still negotiate a settlement or other reduced repayment plan even though a judgment has been awarded!

 

Here's an actual example of a settlement we were able to negotiate even though a judgment had been awarded.  Click on the link below:


Actual example of a judgment that was settled.

 

But, if you are unsuccessful in negotiating a settlement, then you might have to attempt to negotiate what is called a STIPULATED AGREEMENT.

In a Stipulated Agreement, you and the plaintiff/attorney for the plaintiff have a legal document  written up ( the collector's attorney does this and you will not pay a fee). 

The agreement will basically state that if you make a certain dollar amount payment each month until the balance is paid in full, then they will not go forward with any more LEGAL OPTIONS.

 

WHAT...LEGAL OPTIONS?

 

When a Plaintiff (the creditor) is awarded a judgment (and they will be in most cases), then they now can choose to do several things...legally, to collect on the debt:

They can get a WRIT OF GARNISHMENT, giving them the ability to take 25% of your take-home pay until the debt is paid in full!

They can get a WRIT OF LEVY, giving them the right to levy one or more of your BANK ACCOUNTS! 

Again, before you go into PANIC MODE!!!!

The following sources of income are 100% exempt from any bank or account levy:

  • Social Security
  • Disability Income
  • Unemployment Income
  • Retirement Income
  • And several other sources

However, if you receive normal income (called W-2 Income) from your employer, and you deposit those funds into your checking or savings account, they can be garnished/levied.

The bank has now option but to obey the Writ of Garnishment delivered!

There is nothing more devastating to someone to deposit their check (from W-2 or other "earned income") and have their check or debit card declined at the grocery store because their account was liquidated over the weekend!

To make sure this doesn't happen, DON'T IGNORE THE SUMMONS!

Hopefully, I have made my point...

Let me summarize (if your still not clear, please re-read this article!):

DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT, Ignore a SUMMONS!

If you take the appropriate action (as I've spelled out), you should be able to work out a mutually agreeable option.

If all of this sounds a little intimidating, I understand. If you need more guidance:

FREE  Debt Elimination Summary

 

Photo Credit

 

Tags: bank levy, how to stop a wage garnishment, receive a summons, judgment, settlement

"Pay-to Delete", Is This Ethical or Even Legal?

Over the last 15 years, I have come across all kinds of so-called "credit repair" suggestions and/or scams.

One of these is called "Pay-to-Delete".  The basic idea is that if you have an account that is past due, charged off, or in collections, you can offer to pay 100% of the balance in exchange for the creditor or debt collector promising to delete that account from your credit report.

Sounds OK, but also sounds "a little to good to be true". 

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The major crediot reporting bureaes are "for profit" businesses that collect data on all of us about how we use credit.  This includes:

How many accounts/credit cards you have

What type of credit accounts you use

How much debt you have

How you pay...on time, late, etc.

Judgments

Bankruptcy

The credi bureaus, mainly the big three:

Equifax

Experian

TransUnion

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: how to stop a wage garnishment, Debt Settlement Services, Oregon debt collection

Wage Garnishment in Oregon...How to Stop

Here's some very helpful tips on how to put a stop to wage garnishment in Oregon.

First you must understand that a debt collector cannot simply be awarded a wage garnishment for unsecured debts without first having gone through the legal process:

  • File a claim in your county courthouse
  • A SUMMONS is delivered to you
  • Default judgment is awarded if no settlement can be reached
  • Apply for a Writ of Garnishment

OK, you've been having a very challenging time, financially due to circumstances beyond your control, such as:

  • Loss of employment
  • Divorce
  • Death in the family
  • Illness
  • Fixed income of retirement
  • Disability

Although you have done your best to try and keep up with your minimum payments, a couple of your accounts have been turned over to a COLLECTION AGENCY, and they have been calling day and night...driving you nuts!

YOU CAN PUT A STOP TO THIS:

 

STOP Collection Calls Free Sample Letter

DON'T IGNORE THE COLLECTION LETTERS

Most debt collectors and debt collection agencies are willing to work out a repayment and/or settlement of the debt you owe.

Having said, "...you owe...", let's make sure that you really do owe the debt before you pay for something you shouldn't.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act allows a debtor who feels that they do not owe the debt claimed by the creditor/collector to require a DEBT VALIDATION.

After you write a letter demanding that the debt collector validate the debt, they must not only stop collection activity (calls, letters, etc.), but provide you with proof that the debt is legitimate.

Some debt collectors are actually "debt purchasers", who buy lists of so-called debts at pennies-on-the-dollar, hoping to get someone to pay who may or may not actually owe the debt.

Here's a FREE Sample Letter for you to use:

FREE GUIDE to

One more thing about making sure you actually owe this debt:

Make sure the STAUTE OF LIMITATIONS for you state has not expired.

For example, in my home state, Oregon, the statue of limitations on unsecured debt is 6 years.  This means that if there has been no payments on this account for over 6 years, the debt must be removed from all credit reporting agencies and cannot be collected on any more!

So, now that you have determined if the debt is legitimately yours, it's time to contact the debt collector.

Prepare yourself for a small battle on this!  These are professional debt collectors and they are usually paid a percentage of what they can get you to pay.

Tell them you intend to pay the debt, but you just don't have anything now.

Don't let them trick you into paying just a little bit ($25 or so) "to keep the account in this office" or "to keep the account from going to the legal department".  If the account has passed statute of limitations, that "little payment", could reset the clock!!!

But, for the sake of this blog, Wage Garnishment in Oregon...How to Stop, if you have received notice of a wage garnishment, here's what you can do:

Your employer has no choice but to comply with a WRIT OF GARNISHMENT.  If they ignore it or do not reply, they could receive a hefty fine!

But, make sure that you are making enough money to qualify for a garnishment!  In Oregon, if you take home income is about $850-$900 or so, they you cannot be garnished.

Here's the Oregon site that will help.

Just make sure your employer is aware of the exemption limits.

By the way, if you are receiving certain types of income, these cannot be garnished.

Basically, all retirement income, social security, disiability income, etc. is exempt. 

Check out the complete list here.

But if your income is not exempt, then to put a stop to a wage garnishment, you must contact the debt collector and/or attorney for the debt collector and arrange a STIPULATED AGREEMENT.  

You will need to be prepared to demonstrate to the debt collector or attorney that you are in a very bad financial situation and the wage garnishment will force you into bankruptcy unless they agree to a stipulated agreement.

Prepare a basic household budget showing all of your income and expenditures.  You may have to provide a couple of months of bank account statements and maybe a pay stub or two.

But if you can demonstrate how bad things are, they may be willing to enter into a stipulated agreement.

Now, if by chance you could find a large lump sum, say 50% -75% of the balance, they may and most likely, will take that as a settlement and release the judgment.

I know, but maybe you have someone who could help...just asking.

Of course, if you get the Stipulated Agreement or Settlement Agreement, make sure to get it in writing!

The real key to stopping a wage garnishment in Oregon or any state for that matter is to be pro-active.  Don't just ignore the letters and especially don't ignore the summons.

In most cases, a debt collector will be willing to work with you.

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: credit card debt, debt collectors, debt validation, how to stop collection calls, credit repair, how to prevent wage garnishment, how to stop a wage garnishment, credit reporting agencies

How to Stop Oregon Wage Garnishment

stop wage garnishment in oregonIs it possible to stop a wage garnishment in Oregon?

 

Yes! But, you need to know how the process works.

When you have unpaid debt, and for the purpose of this blog, we're talking about unsecured debts, such as:

  • Credit cards
  • Store cards
  • Medical bills
  • Personal line of credit (not tied to your home)
  • Private Student Loans

Your creditors have a right to collect monies that you promised to repay when you borrowed the funds.

If they cannot get you to start paying by calling and mailing nasty letters, they may decide to turn your account over to a collection agency.

As you know, debt collectors can be very annoying and most of the time, violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act or the FDCPA.

If you feel that they have violated the protection and rights you have through the FDCPA, you should contact your state's attorney generals office and file a complaint.

If the  debt collection agency cannot get you to pay, they may decide to file a COMPLAINT in your county court for the debt you owe.

If they do, you will receive a SUMMONS either personally delivered or by registered mail.

DON'T FREAK OUT!!!

The summons will state that you have about 30 days to provide and ANSWER to the court or the PLAINTIFF (the creditor filing the claim) may proceed with further legal action.

The ANSWER would be your argument that you do not owe the debt.  Most of the time there is no use in paying the fee or hiring an attorney to produce an ANSWER, but if you feel that you do not owe the CLAIMED DEBT, then you should challenge with an ANSWER.

If you do nothing (as most people do), the court will generally award the plaintiff with a DEFAULT JUDGMENT.  In other words, they win by default as you are admitting that you owe the debt.

If you do nothing, it is very likely that the attorney for the plaintiff will apply for a WRIT OF GARNISHMENT that will be sent to your employer.

Now, the Writ of Garnishment ONLY APPLIES TO THOSE WHO RECEIVE W-2 wages!

You cannot be garnished if you receive income from:

  • Social Security benefits
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Welfare or public assistance
  • Spousal support or child support
  • Public or private pensions
  • Veterans benefits and/or loans
  • Disability proceeds of life insurance policies
  • Cash surrender value of life insurance policies
  • and many others

Click Here for a complete list of EXEMPT INCOME in Oregon.

But if you receive notice from your employer that you will be garnished (25% of your net check in Oregon!), you still may be able to STOP THE GARNISHMENT.

You will need to contact the attorney's office for the plaintiff and try to get them agree to let you make reduced payments (not the 25% of your net income) until the entire balance is repaid, including attorney fees and 9% (Oregon).

This is called a STIPULATED AGREEMENT, and if you are successful, the attorney may have you sign a copy of the Stipulated Agreement and file it with the court.

If you fail to make a payment according to the Stipulated Agreement, then the Stipulated Agreement is revoked, and you now will be garnished again!

If all of this sounds like TOO MUCH, we can help.  We have helped many, many people stop  wage garnishment. Give us a call at 1-877-492-4109 or Click on the link below:

 

 

 

Tags: fair debt collection practices act, fdcpa, how to stop a wage garnishment

Can I Stop a Wage Garnishment Without Filing Bankruptcy?

Good news! YES, There is a way to stop a wage garnishment WITHOUT bankruptcy!

If you are facing financial difficulty and get behind on your credit card payments, the creditor may choose to seek legal measures to recover the debt.

BUT, IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU KNOW:

  • A creditor cannot just decide to garnish your wages
  • A creditor cannot just decide to levy your bank account
  • A creditor cannot take you possession!

A creditor will usually follow the following steps to recover delinquent debts:

  • Calls, calls, calls!  Click here to learn how to STOP THE CALLS
  • Nasty letters with threats of ruining your credit, possible legal action, etc.
  • And then, after about 4-6 months, if they are unsuccessful, they may decide to file a complaint for the debt you owe.

After they file a complaint in your local county courthouse, you will receive a SUMMONS.

DON'T PANIC!!!

The summons will state that you have 20 or 30 days to respond with an "ANSWER". 

An "answer" is what you would present if you feel that you do not owe the debt.

Since you owe the debt (even though the interest rates and fees are ridiculous), the fact is that when you signed up for the card, you agreed to all of the fees. (Remember all that fine print you skipped over?)

Anyway, so after about a month or so after receiving the SUMMONS, if an agreement cannot be reached with the creditor, they may apply for a DEFAULT JUDGMENT.

Once the Default Judgment is awarded to the creditor (plaintiff), then they can apply for a WRIT OF GARNISHMENT.

Each state varies as to how much can be garnished and what income is exempt from garnishment.

In most states, the garnishment is 25% of your net (after taxes) take home pay.  For most people who are already in a financial hardship, this would be terrible!

If you receive income from:

  • Social Security benefits
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Welfare or public assistance
  • Spousal support or child support
  • Public or private pensions
  • Veterans benefits and/or loans
  • Disability proceeds of life insurance policies
  • Cash surrender value of life insurance policies
  • and many others

Click here to get a list of exempt wages in Oregon.

OK, so if you don't meet the exemption requirement and you get a garnishment, here's what you have to do:

Contact the creditor or the creditor's attorney.

In most cases, once you have provided proof (BASIC BUDGET WORKSHEET), you should be able to arrange a STIPULATED AGREEMENT.

In a STIPULATED AGREEMENT, the attorney agrees to STOP THE GARNISHMENT and NOT PROCEED with further legal action as long as you send in the agreed amount each month.

This amount should be less that what the garnishment would have been.

IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU NEVER MISS AN AGREED PAYMENT!

If you do, they will most likely VOID THE AGREEMENT and start the wage garnishment again and will not be willing to re-negotiate another Stipulated Agreement.

SOUND CONFUSING?  We may be able to help.  Simply CLICK THE LINK BELOW or give us a call at 1-877-492-4109.

stop a wage garnishment

 

 

 

Tags: how to stop a wage garnishment, stipulated agreement, wage garnishment in oregon, wit

Wage Garnishment in Oregon

If you are delinquent in paying your debts, a creditor can decide to pursue all legal avenues including wage garnishment.

But before you panic, understand that a creditor cannot garnish your wages just because you are behind on credit card or other unsecured debts!

Before they can apply for a WRIT OF GARNISHMENT, a creditor will:

  • Contact you in writing or by phone in an attempt to collect the debt and/or work out a repayment plan.
  • If the creditor's collections efforts are unsuccessful, they will turn the account over to a collection agency.  This collection agency will also contact you in writing and by phone to collect the debt. In fact, they will most likely call you multiple times a day at all hours.  You do not have to put up with this.  To learn what collectors can and can't do read more about Fair Debt Collection Practices.

Wage Garnishment in Oregon

  • If the collection agency's attempts to collect the debt are unsuccessful, they may decide to retain a local attorney to file a claim.  If they are a ATTORNEY/COLLECTION FIRM, they will file the claim themselves.
  • If this happens, you will receive a SUMMONS and it will basically state that you have 20 or 30 days (States vary as to how long you have) to "ANSWER" the claim.  An "ANSWER" is you response to the claim if you feel that YOU DO NOT OWE THE DEBT CLAIMED IN THE SUMMONS.
  • It usually takes about 45-60 days before a court date is set. NO, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO GO TO COURT.  This is just a formal hearing to award the judgment to the plaintiff (creditor) by default.  Default meaning that you did not dispute the claim.
  • With the DEFAULT JUDGMENT, the creditor can now apply for a writ of garnishment.

What happens once your creditor is awarded a Writ of Garnishment?

In most cases, an agreement not to pursue wage garnishment can be negotiated (if you act quickly).

A STIPULATED AGREEMENT would state that you will make a payment every month until either the full amount or a slightly reduced amount is repaid.

Depending on your state of residency, there may be an interest rate limit(Oregon is 9%, Washington is 12%).  Be sure to check your state's limit.

As long as you make your payments on time, the creditor will not act on the wage garnishment.

What types of income are exempt from Wage Garnishment?

The following types of income are exempt from wage garnishment:

  • Social Security benefits
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Welfare or public assistance
  • Spousal support or child support
  • Public or private pensions
  • Veterans benefits and/or loans
  • Disability proceeds of life insurance policies
  • Cash surrender value of life insurance policies
  • and many others

There are also exemptions and limits as to the calculation final amount of wage garnishment.  We have found that most employers are unaware of these exemptions and limitations, so make sure you know your rights!

In Oregon for example, if you earn below a certain amount, you may be fully exempt from wage garnishment!  Click her to find out more!

Finally, if all of this seems a "little too much for you to handle", we can help. One of our Debt Solutions Specialists can help you decide what is the best next step for you.  Give us a call at 1-877-492-4109 or simply click on the link below for a free debt elimination consultation.

wage garnishment in Oregon

 

 

 

Tags: how to stop a wage garnishment, wage garnishment in oregon, collector, default judgment

What to do if you receive a summons

receive a summonsThe doorbell rings and you are handed a summons regarding one of your past due credit accounts.

What do you do when you receive a summons?

First…DON’T PANIC!

  • You are not going to jail!
  • You will not have to go to court!
  • They are not going to garnish your next paycheck.
  • They are not going to garnish your bank account.
  • They are not going to come take all of your belongings!

 

Next…DON'T IGNORE THE SUMMONS!

For the sake of this post, we're talking about unsecured debts such as:

  • Credit cards
  • Personal loans
  • Medical bills
  • Personal line of credit
  • Store cards, etc.
  • Auto Repo

After numerous phone calls and letters, a creditor may decide to start legal action in order to collect the debt that you owe.  Not knowing how the process works, most people are intimidated and somehow find a way to pay the entire debt.  Once you understand the summons process, you will find that you can still settle that debt for less than the full balance.

The Summons Process

(The entire process usually takes 3 months or so.)

  1. A CLAIM will be filed in the county court where you reside.
  2. You will receive a SUMMONS. This is usually hand delivered and will state something to the effect that you have 20 or 30 days after receipt of the summons toANSWER THE CLAIM.”
  3. An answer is your side of the story that you would file ONLY if you feel you do not owe the amount of the claim. Even though you don't like the additional interest, late fees and now court costs, you still owe that as part of the debt. 
  4. If you owe the debt, there is no reason to spend the time or money for an answer and, YOU DO NOT NEED TO GO TO COURT.
  5. Contact the  attorney for the plaintiff (the creditor). If you are employed and receive normal W-2 wages, you need to try and work out a repayment plan so they do not proceed with the legal action.
If you are a Debt Relief client, you can skip step #5 and CONTACT US IMMEDIATELY by faxing or emailing the summons to your negotiator.  We (DRNW, Inc.) will contact the attorney for the plaintiff on your behalf, and we will most likely be able to negotiate a settlement based on a repayment plan to stop the legal action. Although we cannot guarantee that we will be able to negotiate a sollution, we are successful about 99% of the time!



Tags: debt settlement, how to stop a wage garnishment, receive a summons

What to Do to Stop a Wage Garnishment

stop a wage garnishmentIn most states, a wage garnishment for non-payment of debt is approximately 25% of your net, after-tax income.

For most people, this would be FINANCIALLY DEVESTATING!

First, you need to understand how wage garnishment works:

  • Your debts become delinquent because of non-payment.
  • The calls and letters start.
  • If repayment agreement cannot be arranged, the account is charged-off and placed with a collection agency and/or lawfirm/collection agency.
  • More calls and letters.
  • Again, if a repayment agreement cannot be arranged, the creditor may instruct the collector/law firm to FILE A COMPLAINT.
  • Once the file is processed, you will receive a SUMMONS.  It states that you have 20-30 days to ANSWER or give cause why you do not owe the debt.
  • Again, if a repayment agreement cannot be arranged, then a court date is set, the creditor or PLAINTIFF wins a DEFAULT JUDGMENT.
  • Once the JUDGEMENT has been awarded to the PLAINTIFF, they can apply for a WRIT OF GARNISHMENT to your employer.
  • Your employer has no choice but to comply with the WRIT OF GARNISHMENT or will face a fine from the court!
  • You get your paycheck with an additional 25% reduction!
stop a wage garnishment 

What can you do to stop a Wage Garnishment?

At this point, you need to contact the attorey for the plaintiff and try to negotiate a repayment agreement called a STIPULATED AGREEMENT.

A Stipulated Agreement is an agreement between you and the attorney/plaintiff/creditor that you will pay so much per month until the balance of the debt is repaid.

You may need to give the attorney financial proof that you are unable to pay, but most likely, they will agree to a plan whereby the monthly payment is something your budget can handle.

If you cannot come to an agreement, then you may be forced to contact a BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY and seek BANKRUPTCY PROTECTION.

We have helped hundreds of clients, just like you, not only avoid wage garnishment, but also settle debts at a substantial reduction!

1-877-492-4109

stop a wage garnishment

Tags: debt collection, wage garnishment, dealing with debt collectors, how to stop a wage garnishment