Received Summons! Kinda Freaked Out!

If it's not bad enough having too many debts and bills, receiving a SUMMONS is especially stressful!

One of our clients sent me an email this morning and said...

"I received this subpoena last night.  Kind of freaking out.  What do I do!"

woman_on_floor_with_all_her_bills

We've been helping people deal with the stress of having to much debt and just not enough money to keep up for many years.

 

I've written many blogs about what to do with or how to prevent a summons, but wanted to give some insight that may help.

 

WHY DID YOU RECEIVE THE SUMMONS?

When you miss payments due on your accounts (I'm only talking about unsecured accounts like credit cards, medical bills, etc.) the original creditor will start calling and sending letters.

They may offer a few options for getting you "back on track", but for most people, these don't help or are possible due to your circumstances.

Trying to explain to the agent is usually a waste of time, so I don't advise trying.

If you do, just say something like...

"I've had some things happen and can't make payments right now.  I intend to get caught up soon and would appreciate it if you'd stop calling."

After a few months, most likely your account will be transferred, assigned or even sold to a collection agency.

Now you can at least put a stop to the calls:

STOP Collection Calls Free Sample Letter

 

DEALING WITH DEBT COLLECTORS

There are thousands of companies that make a lot of money collecting bad or old debts!  These companies may take accounts on consignment, in order to earn a portion of the money they recover.

Or, they may have just purchased the account for pennies-on-the-dollar from creditors who have given up on trying to collect and have just written off the debt as a loss.

The debt collector most likely will be open to a SETTLEMENT.  The amount of settlement is determined by many factors, but on the average, a settlement of 50% to 70% (more or less) may be available.

Recent Settlements See what we have  done for our clients!

 

 DON'T IGNORE A SUMMONS !

To many people take the "hide your head in the sand" approach to their financial crisis.  Although I certainly understand and appreciate how they feel, the debt is not going to go away!

If the calls and letters from a debt collector go unanswered or returned, after a few months, the debt may be:

  1. Recalled back to the original creditor
  2. Transferred to another debt collection agency
  3. Sold or transferred to a Law Firm that specializes in Debt Collection

If your account lands with #3, and if they cannot reach you or an agreement or settlement cannot me negotiated, they may decide to FILE A CLAIM.

Once a CLAIM is filed with your local county court, a SUMMONS is prepared and sent out for delivery.

The delivery may be by a COUNTY SHERIFF or COMPANY PAID TO DELIVER the summons.

Either way, receiving a summons is (like my client said), kinda "FREAKS YOU OUT!"

Although a summons (or small claims order) may differ, most of them state something like the one my client received:

     "YOU ARE HEREBY REQUIRED to appear and defend the Complaint filed against you in the above-entitled cause within 30 days from the date of service of this summons on you, and in case of your failure to do so, Plaintiff (creditor or debt collector you owe) will apply to the court for the relief demanded in the Complaint."

Well, it sure sounds like you have to go to court within 30 days, doesn't it!

But, if you kept reading, it would explain.  (I'll paraphrase and explain to save time:)

It says you must "APPEAR".  Notice the word "appear" is in italics.

It then goes on to explain what "appear" means:

It basically says that if you wish to give proof of why you do not owe the CLAIM being made, you have 30 days to provide the court with a legal document called a "motion" or "answer".  You also have to pay the required filing fee ($165 in this particular county court).

The summons goes on to say that if you have questions you should see an attorney immediately and usually gives a phone number for your state's Bar Lawyer Referral Service.

NOW WHAT?

OK, so you have the summons and understand that you don't have to go to court.  What should you do?

The worst thing you can do is ignore the summons!!!!!!!

If you ignore the summons, a JUDGMENT will most likely be awarded to the PLAINTIFF.

If this happens, the attorney for the plaintiff will seek the legal options available to get funds awarded in the judgment.  These include:

  • Wage Garnishment
  • Bank Levy of your bank accounts
  • Placing a lien against your home or other property

I don't have the space here to address each of these, and there are things you may be able to do if you are facing one or more of these due to a judgment.

The important point is....

DON'T LET IT GET TO THIS POINT!!!

In most cases, some kind of agreement or solution can be negotiated before or even after a JUDGMENT has been awarded.

You may have to repay the entire balance due to avoid a garnishment, levy or lien.

This will most likely be a STIPULATED AGREEMENT that will be filed with the court.

This basically will say that as long as you make the required payments specified int he Stipulated Agreement, the Plaintiff will not continue to seek the legal options described above.

Once the Stipulated Agreement is completed, a LETTER OF SATISFACTION will be mailed to the court and the judgment is removed.

Now, I've explain a lot. What's the main points?

You have several options to prevent your account from ever getting to becoming a judgment.

  • You can't ignore the debt.
  • It will not go away!
  • If you receive a summons, don't panic!

If you are overwhelmed, we may be able to help:

FREE  Debt Elimination Summary

 

Photo Credit

 

Tags: stop wage garnishment, summons, debt collector, receive a summons, credit cards, judgment, settlement

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

Do Not Let Debt Collectors Intimidate You!!!

Dealing with a debt collector can be very intimidating.

 Here are some tips how to deal with them:


4685879535_e268930fc8_n.jpgSomeone has said that the word FEAR really stands for:

  • False
  • Evidence, that
  • Appears
  • Real

Living under the financial stress that comes from dealing with too much debt can be one of the most traumatic experiences anyone can face!And if that wasn't bad enough, now you have debt collector calling day and night!

It's time to eliminate that fear that comes from dealing with debt collectors!

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act protects all consumers from the unlawful tactics used by some (not all) debt collectors.

Although the FDCPA covers many things that debt collectors can and more importantly, CAN'T DO, here are some of the most important for you to know:

They cannot call you dozens of times a day or before 8am or after 9pm.

They cannot harass, threaten or try to deceive you.

Although they can contact family and friends, they are prohibited from revealing anything about you debts or situation.  They can only contact them for your address, phone or work number.

And about contacting you at work...You can stop that by telling them you cannot take personal calls at work.  If they call again, you have a legal right to file a claim with your state's attorney general's office or even contact an attorney to bring charges!

They cannot threaten you or insinuating that you could be arrested, etc.


But, what most people are afraid of is that somehow they can take your stuff or money in the bank, wages, or make you sell your home.

You have to understand the legal process a debt collector must go through to really understand what they can and cannot garnish or levy. 

Disclaimer...

Although I've been helping people solve their debt issues for a long, long time, I am not an attorney, so don't take anything I say as the advice from a legal authority!

Having gotten that out of the way....

While your debt is with the original lender, they have the legal right to call you about it. Now, the same FDCPA rules apply, but at this point, you cannot make them stop calling you.

However, once the original creditor charges off, places the debt for collection or even sells your debt to a debt purchaser, then you have the LEGAL RIGHT TO STOP THE CALLS!

Here' how:

STOP Collection Calls Free Sample Letter

 

When the debt is placed with a debt collector, of course, they want to get you to pay them money and don't really want to go the "legal" route unless all else fails!

Trying to explain your situation to the average debt collector is usually a waste of time.  That's why I encourage all of our clients to NOT ANSWER the phone and if they do by mistake, JUST HANG UP!

But they are going to send you letters....lots of letters in hopes of getting you to pay or set up a repayment plan.

You might even get a letter offering to SETTLE for LESS THAN THE FULL BALANCE.

This may or may not be a good deal, but you should think about it.

When I work for my clients, I'm trying to negotiate a settlement of around 50% or less.  In most cases we can.  Here are some actual examples:

Recent Settlements See what we have  done for our clients!

If you cannot come to an agreement with the debt collector over a reasonable amount of time (maybe 2-4 months), they may decide to:

File a CLAIM

You'd then get a SUMMONS

And that could lead to a JUDGMENT

Which could allow them to now...NOT BEFORE... get some of your money, etc.

ONE MORE TIME...

THE DEBT COLLECTOR CANNOT TOUGH ANY OF YOUR ASSETS WITHOUT A JUDGMENT!

Filing a CLAIM means that they hire an attorney to file the proper documents with the county court wherein you reside.  They are "claiming" that you owe this debt.

Then, you'd be served a SUMMONS.

It basically states that the "plaintiff" (creditor or debt collector) claims you owe such-n-such a debt.

It also states that you have 20-30 days to "APPEAR" and give an "ANSWER".

That sounds like you have to go to court, but you don't!!!!

If you can prove (with clearly documented evidence) that you do not owe this debt, then you could file the legal document called an ANSWER. 

But, in most cases, you owe the debt, so it is not necessary.

WHAT YOU CANNOT DO IS TO IGNORE THE SUMMONS!

In most cases, they (the debt collector or attorney for the plaintiff) may be willing to set up some reasonable repayment plan instead of going through all of the legal processes to get a judgment.

But, if you ignore the summons, they will then set a court date and be awarded a judgment by default (no one contested the CLAIM) so they win a DEFAULT JUDGMENT.

I hope you are starting to see that there is a long process before a creditor or debt collector can go after any of your assets.

So, let's say that a creditor or debt collector is awarded a JUDGMENT, NOW WHAT?

If you are employed, and receive a normal check (called a W-2), then they can now file a WRIT OF GARNISHMENT with your employer.   

Your employer had no choice but to obey the "WRIT" and send the attorney for the plaintiff 25% of your net/take home check each week or by-week until the total debt you owe is paid back. And, they can charge interest as well (each state varies, but Oregon is 9%).

If you are unemployed or retired, unemployment income or retirement income from a retirement plan and especially from Social Security is 100% EXEMPT from garnishment.

But, BE AWARE!!!

If you "co-mingle" your retirement income (including Social Security) with other "earned income", then ALL OF THE FUNDS are now accessable at your bank!

That can happen if you transfer some of your retirement or Social Security income funds from checking to a separate savings account!  Now they can go after the savings account.

So, if you have a judgment against you, make sure you get some sound advice on how to protect your assets!

Here is a link to a very good article about what I have been writing about.  It's published by the Federal Trade Commission and very informative...

Debt Collection

 

I hope this has helped you understand what a debt collector can and cannot do so that you won't be afraid!

If you could use some help, then let us know:

FREE  Debt Elimination Summary

Photo Credit

 

Tags: debt settlement, debt collectors, summons, judgment

Will Debt Collectors Negotiate After a Summons or Judgment?

If you have been delivered a summons or had a judgment awarded against you be a debt collector, you should still be able to reach an agreement to avoid garnishments or bank levies! 

Fear-1.jpgFinancial circumstances beyond your control can be very stressful.

More often than not, your situation was caused by one or more events such as:

  • Loss of employment
  • Divorce
  • Illness or Disability
  • Fixed Income of Retirement

When this happens, your debts can be very difficult or impossible to keep up.

 

And, as you may know, sometimes these accounts are turned over to a debt collector.  A debt collector may be contracted by the original creditor or may have purchased the debt for pennies on the dollar after the creditor decided to give up on trying to collect.

This is where the problem starts!

Most debt collection companies as well as the debt collector agent themselves are professional.  

Like it or not, they do serve a purpose of trying to recover debt that is owed.

However, there are some, and you could say many debt collectors who do not act in a professional manner and violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

If and when you are contacted by a Debt Collector, you need to take action.

THE WORST THING YOU CAN DO IS TO IGNORE THE PROBLEM!

If you legitimately know that you do not owe the debt, you can demand that the debt collector VALIDATE the debt.  But, you must do this right away.

Most letters you receive from the collector will state something to the effect that "If you do not dispute the validity of the debt, it will be deemed an admission that you are liable for the debt."

Here's a link to a blog I wrote about:

FREE GUIDE to

By the way, be very careful of a so-called "Credit Repair Company" that uses the "debt validation" procedure to challenge LEGITIMATE debts in order to try and raise your credit score.  This is not only unethical, but may also be illegal!

OK, let's say you know that you owe the debt and the debt collectors are calling all day.  Here's how to stop the calls: 

If you cannot afford to deal with this debt now, you can put a stop to the never ending calls from a debt collector.  

While you cannot stop the original creditor from calling, you certainly have the legal right to demand the collector from calling.  

Click here for a "How to Stop Debt Collection Calls":

STOP Collection Calls Free Sample Letter

 

But, the problem is not going to go away!

If you do not make some kind of arrangement with the debt collector, they may elect to file a complaint with you county court in order to get a judgment.

The first thing that will tell you that they are very serious and are not going to just go away is that you will receive a SUMMONS.

Receiving a summons is unpleasant and a little scary if you do not know what to do.

I've written many blogs and articles about how to deal with a summons, so check out one of these at:

 

HOW TO DEAL WITH A SUMMONS

 

For this article, let's say that you ignored the summons and the debt collector was awarded a DEFAULT judgment.

A Default  Judgment just means that the judgment was awarded to the plaintiff (debt collector) as you did not contest the claim in court.

When these type of judgments are awarded, in about 99% of the time, the defendant (creditor) did nothing, and thus, the judgment was granted to the plaintiff.

Now the debt collector, with the judgment, can take legal action to recover the debt.  These may include:

If you have some funds or can afford a reasonable monthly payment, you should be able to avoid these actions.

The debt collector really doesn't want to spend the money or take the time to file for those legal actions above, but depending on your situation, should be willing to either accept:

  • A Lump-sum (or in some cases a monthly term payment) Settlement
  • A Stipulated Agreement whereby you repay the balance at 100% plus the interest allowed in your state.  (Oregon is 9%, WA is 12%)

We have been helping people deal with the problems associated with debt for a long time (about 15 yrs.), and I can only recall two cases where the client received a wage garnishment or bank levy.

In both cases, this happened because the client refused to follow our advice.

But, in both cases, we were able to STOP THE WAGE GARNISHMENT and BANK LEVY.

If you would like a FREE CONSULTATION, with absoutely NO OBLIGATION, give us a call or click below:

FREE  Debt Elimination Summary

 

 

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Tags: debt settlement, debt collectors, debt, summons, judgment

Advantages of Debt Settlement in Texas

advantages of debt settlement in texasIf you live in Texas, you have some unique laws that make debt settlement a great way to eliminate old credit card or other unsecured debts.

Due to various circumstances such as:

  • Loss of employment
  • Illness
  • Death of Spouse
  • Divorce
  • or many other of life's challenges

...you may find yourself with too much debt and without the ability to make regular payments. When that happens, it doesn't take long before the DEBT COLLECTORS begin to start calling!

If this has happened (or is happening) to your, click here to learn how to STOP THE CALLS.

The debt collector may try to get you into a HARDSHIP PROGRAM!  BUT BEWARE!

If it has been several months since you made your last payment, the debt collector may file a complaint and you would receive a summons.

DON'T IGNORE THE SUMMONS!

If you owe the debt and cannot negotiate a settlement, the CREDITOR OR PLAINTIFF will be awarded a DEFAULT JUDGMENT.

In most states, the CREDIOR can get a WRIT OF GARNISHMENT that would result in an average of 25% of your net income being withheld from each paycheck until 100% of the debt is paid!

BUT NOT IN TEXAS!

Texas does not allow garnishment of wages in order to repay unsecured debt! This gives Texas residents a tremendous advantage and leverage in negotiating a settlement of their debts!

After being awarded a judgment, many creditors place a LIEN ON YOUR HOME

This means that before you sell or transfer the property, the debt (PLUS INTEREST, FEES, ETC,) would have to be paid to release the title!

BUT NOT IN TEXAS!

Texas has the best HOMESTEAD LAWS in the United States.

Basically, your principle residence cannot have a creditor place a lien after a judgment for unsecured debt! This protects Texas Residents great protection and comfort!

With these two laws protecting your wages and homestead, residents of Texas can and should be able to negotiate very favorable settlements!

We have been helping Texas Residents for over 10 years and we can help you too!

Experienced Debt Settlement companies understand the advantages of debt settlement in Texas. Therefore, debt collectors are more willing to settle debts for less!

Actual Debt Settlement Examples: (Click on Link below to view)

 

photo by: Calsidyrose

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: debt collection, wage garnishment, credit card debt, summons, debt settlement in Texas, debt relief in Texas, judgment, texas homestead law, texas debt settlement, lien

How to Remove a Judgment From a Credit Report

remove a judgementIf you want to improve your credit score, you need to know how to remove a judgmentfrom a credit report.

If you have had a JUDGMENT recorded against you, then it will show up under NEGATIVE ITEMS on your credit report.

A JUDGMENT tells anyone reviewing your credit:

  • You failed to pay a credit account as promised
  • Attempts to work out a repayment plan failed
  • The creditor filed a COMPLAINT and you received a SUMMONS
  • The creditor was awarded a JUDGMENT by default

If you do not have a current FREE CREDIT REPORT from all 3 of the major report agencies:

From the Credit Report, find out where or what court the judgment has been recorded.

If there is a phone or fax, great!  If not, do a little searching (yellowpages.com) to find.

Fax or mail:

  • Proof of payment or release of the judgment.  A copy of the settlement agreement or actual letter from the collection agency or law firm is even better.
  • Copy of cancel check(s) from your bank records.
  • A brief explanation why you are requesting the judgment to be removed.

Follow the procedure for each agency. Sending to one doesn't do anything for the others!

In some cases, you can make your request online.

It may take 45-60 days to get a response or see the jugment removed.  The Credit Reporting Agency should email or mail their decision.

If positive, YOU DID IT!

If not, then try again.  You may want to call.

The credit reporting agencies want to provide accurate, up-to-date information.  As long as you have the proper "proof and/or explaination" of why the judgment should be removed or classified as "paid-as-agreed", they will work with you.

 

Tags: credit report, credit card debt repair, judgment, how to remove

Summons!

You recieved a summons, now what?summons

If you have past due accounts and can't afford to make any payments, sooner or later you will get a summons.

It may be delivered by a police officer or someone else, but regardless, it is not a pleasant experience.

What should you do?

DO NOT IGNORE THE SUMMONS!

For the sake of this article, we're taking about unsecured debts such as:

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

When a creditor cannot get a consumer to pay as agreed and attempts to work out a plan or even after collector intimidation (you know...10 phone calls a day!), they may choose to start legal action in order to collect the debt.

A CLAIM will be filed in the county court where you reside. 

Then, you will receive a SUMMONS.  This is usually hand delivered.

The summons will state something to the effect that you have 20 or 30 days after receipt of the summons to APPEAR IN COURT TO ANSWER THE CLAIM.

That means that if you wish to dispute the validity of the claim, you can follow your county's court procedure to give an ANSWER TO THE CLAIM.

The answer is your side of the story if you feel you do not owe the amount of the claim.

Now, just because you don't like the additional interest, late fees and now court costs that have been added to the claim doesn't matter! 

So, if you owe the debt, there is no reason to spend the time or money for an answer and NO, YOU DO NOT NEED TO GO TO COURT.

OK, NOW WHAT?

FIRST DON'T PANIC!

  • You are not going to jail
  • You most likely will not go to court
  • Since we're talking about unsecured debt, no one is going to take your personal property
  • Your not going to have to sell your home, car, boat, etc.

The creditor is hoping that you will call them and make arrangements for full repayment of the debt (plus all the interest, fees and costs) as you are afraid.

AFRAID OF WHAT?

If an arrangement or agreement cannot be reached, the creditor or PLAINTIFF, will be awarded the JUDGMENT.

With a judgment entered in favor of the plaintiff, they can now seek to:

  • Garnish your wages or
  • Levy you bank account

 

CONTACT THE CREDITOR OR ATTORNEY FOR THE CREDITOR! 

If you are employed (not necessarily self-employed) and receive normal W-2 wages, then you must try to work out a repayment plan so that they don't proceed with a writ of garnishment.

Most of the time the creditor or attorney will agree to a STIPULATED AGREEMENT OR JUDGMENT.

This says that if you make $XX.00 payments for some many months they will not continue with legal action.

If you get an agreement, MAKE SURE YOU GET IT IN WRITING!

You most likely will make a "check-by-phone" arrangement whereby they take the monthly payment directly from your checking account, so keep good records.

If you have access to make a one-time or lump-sum payment for 60%-80% of the balance, the creditor may accept that and remove the judgment.

Again, if you arrange this, GET IT IN WRITING!

BUT WHAT IF YOU ARE UNEMPLOYEDSELF EMPLOYED OR RETIRED?

Certain forms of income are exempt from wage garnishment:

  • Unemployment income
  • Social Security or Pension income
  • Disability income
  • Child support
  • And in most states, net income

For more information about wage garnishment, visit: US DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

If all of this is a little intimidating, we can help!

For a FREE, NO OBLIGATION review of your situation, click here.

summons

Tags: summons, stopping debt collection calls, judgment