Bankruptcy Law Questions? Ask a Bankruptcy Lawyer.
Hi - my name is ***** ***** I'll be glad to assist.
How many years has it been since the judgment was obtained against you, and what state are you in?
Ok. Thank you.
If the judgment was just obtained, there's no chance o the statute of limitation having expired against the judgment. I was hoping that the creditor had waited too late to enforce/collect.
The only way to avoid a garnishment against you is to either (1) work out a payment plan with the creditor to pay the debt or (2) file chapter 7 bankruptcy and have the debt discharged as an unsecured debt and rid yourself of the obligation to pay.
The creditor likely will not speak with you.....so you'd have to go through their lawyer.
And yes, you can file a motion to set aside the judgment or even appeal the decision if you have grounds to do so -- such as being able to prove that you weren't properly served. The court file should demonstrate whether or not and how you were served with process.
You're right that bankruptcy will harm your credit for at least a decade, but a judgment could hang around longer than that. So, it's a tough position either way.
But, at least the bankruptcy would put the issue behind you.....unless you could set the judgment aside, but even then, it's likely that it would only provide temporary relief as your creditor could serve you/cure the defect and proceed to obtain the judgment (as I assume that you don't have a defense to the money owed). So, fighting could only prolong the inevitable.
Your best option is to hire a bankruptcy lawyer to make contact with the creditor and inform the creditor's lawyer that IF a deal is not worked out, that you'll have to file bankruptcy and the creditor will get nothing.
The judgment will appear on your credit until it is paid off or settled.
At that point, a notation can be inserted that it has been paid/settled, but it will still remain for 7 years......regardless.
It will not be removed unless the creditor agrees to do so early (and it has no obligation to do so), and that's not likely to happen.
Yeah, it's no good way out if the judgment has already been filed. IF the judgment hasn't been filed, you could work a deal for the creditor to hold (not file) the judgment in exchange for a payment plan.....but if it has been filed, there's no removing it from the records or from your credit -- except to wait it out.
But at this juncture, your best option is to consult a local bankruptcy attorney and have him/her make contact with the creditor and advise that if they don't work out a deal, you'll have no choice but to file bankruptcy and discharge the debt.
Sure, and that's really what the creditor would prefer to receive (mainly because most people don't complete payment plan arrangements and opt for bankruptcy eventually).
You can visit www.martindale.com and search for an attorney in your area that handles debt reductions and workouts (in addition to bankruptcy). Many bankruptcy attorneys operate like an assembly line and they don't want anyone who doesn't simply want to file chapter 7). So, you may have to do a little calling around to find someone willing to actually help you with a debt workout as opposed to just filing and moving on.
If you have legitimate grounds to defend the judgment (claiming that it was obtained improperly) or if you have a defense to the amount owed when/if the judgment is set aside, it could be worth it, but most of the time this is not fruitful -- because at the end of the day -- the money is owed and there's no defense to that.
As for a garnishment, most creditors can begin 30 days after the judgment has been filed (as that is the expiration of the appeal window). But, who knows when this creditor may begin.
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