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jbrlaw
jbrlaw, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 269
Experience:  Creditors' rights lawyer involving collections, foreclosures and bankruptcies for almost 19 years.
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I have been served with a NOTICE FOR JUDGEMENT from ...

Customer Question

I have been served with a NOTICE FOR JUDGEMENT from Citibank. I"m being sued for credit card debt (working with credit counseling service, Citibank refuses to negotiate). When they filed the original Summons, I was required to file an Answer (for $320). Do I need to file anything to answer the Notice for judgement? Does the judge care that I'm working to pay off the debt? I never intended to ignore the debt, it was just too much for me to keep current with all the fees and interest. I've currently paid off one credit card out of 3. As a head of household, can they attach my wages? Freeze my accounts? What are my alternatives?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  jbrlaw replied 8 years ago.
First, you may try to open the judgment if you haven't waited too long. I suggest contacting the court clerk's office to see if they have a form that you may complete to make it happen. If successful, you may contest the matter and try to settle with the bank then.

If you are too late, then the only other thing you may do to stop or slow execution of your assets is to file for bankruptcy protection.

While I am not sure if the bank may go after wages in CA (I think not), it may certainly go after your accounts or other assets and belongings. Be careful and move quickly. The bank does not have to do anything right away but it can if it so desires.

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Please note that I may not be licensed to practice law in your jurisdiction. As such, my above comments shall not be construed as legal advice and shall not be deemed to form an attorney-client relationship.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply toCustomers Post: Can you explain what you mean by 'open the judgement'? I received the paperwork last Sat, and it's asking the judge to make a decision "on August 29, 2008 or as soon thereafter as the matter may be heard...". The original summons court date was July 10th (I went altho I didn't have to), then there was a court date of Sept 15th for 'Notice of Case Management Conference'. Confusing to know what all these terms mean, and I know the lawyers are simply out to get every penny they can. Thank you!
Expert:  jbrlaw replied 8 years ago.
Opening the judgment asks the judge (by a motion or petition) to set aside the judgment entered against you. If successful, it si as if the case started over.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply toCustomers Post: There hasn't been any judgement entered yet and now I've called the court and they say they can't give me any 'legal' advice, but all I want to know is what steps I need to take next. I'm not contesting the debt owed, I'm making regular payments to a 3rd party credit company and I want to work with Citibank. They haven't made any offers or attempt to settle, they just keep adding fees, expenses, lawyer costs and court fees. Can you be more specific as to what my next steps might be? the clerk had no idea what I meant when I said I wanted to 'open the judgement' - said none has been entered. The date on the Motion for Judgement is Aug. 29th - does that mean I have to go to court on that date too? And then what about the original Sept. 15th date?
Expert:  jbrlaw replied 8 years ago.
I think I now understand. You must have received a notice that a judgment will be entered if you don't take the action contained on the notice. That is different. Even if you don't want to contest the debt, this provides you with an opportunity to communicate with the judge and/or the bank's attorney. They are more likely to push for a settlement/payment schedule than the bank directly at this point (I would keep trying with the bank though). See if you can request mediation or arbitration to try to work something out. It is best to avoid having a judgment entered against you. I am glad this has not yet occurred.

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Please note that I may not be licensed to practice law in your jurisdiction. As such, my above comments shall not be construed as legal advice and shall not be deemed to form an attorney-client relationship.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply toCustomers Post: Part of my agreement with the credit counselor is not to negotiate directly with the bank - and since the bank has turned the matter over to their law offices, I don't think it would matter if I tried the bank. I do want to negotiate a settlement - do you have any idea what steps I need to take to respond to the court? Obviously the lawyers will only respond throught the courts, I cannot contact them separately (tried that already). I don't understand why there is a motion when a court date was already set.
Expert:  jbrlaw replied 8 years ago.
You may try mailing or faxing the lawyers a letter proposing a settlement (without admitting any wrongdoing). They handle so many of these that they don't want to be bothered speaking with anyone until they get to court. With that said, you cannot force them to take a deal. Show up to court on the designated date and try to negotiate a deal then.

I trust that I've provided enough follow-up answers to you to justify your acceptance of the JustAnswer fee. Good luck again.