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Roger
Roger, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 31225
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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I had a foreclosure about 5 y ago and bank says it was short

Customer Question

Hi. I had a foreclosure about 5 y ago and bank says it was short sale and served me papers to Cort for rest of balance. I responded but my letter never was recieved by clerks office and they put judgment against me . What's my best option to avoid any garnishments?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

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?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just since January 4 th I am in Florida
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
When papers where served I responded to it but courthouse never got my respond and next thigh I know there is jugment against me
Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

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.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is it best to call creditor or their lawyers or obtain the Lawer ? Can I submit the motion for set aside the jugment ?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I just have build my credit up and took me 5 y to do it if I file for bankruptcy all my hard work is gone ...
Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

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.

Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

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.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
can I call their Lawer and try to work it out or the best is to obtain a Lawer ?
Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

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.

Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

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.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
But if I pay creditor isn't jugment becomes as satisfied? Or is it still show on my credit report ?
Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

The judgment will appear on your credit until it is paid off or settled.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
when it is settle then it is removed?
Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

At that point, a notation can be inserted that it has been paid/settled, but it will still remain for 7 years......regardless.

Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

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.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Oh boy this is like nightmare ... After so many years
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't even understand how this can happened ...
Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

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.

Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

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.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can they still be willing to settle one lump of sum ?
Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

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).

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I was trying to contact a Lawer and it was bankruptcy and he said if I am. Not willing to file for bancrupcy he. Can not help
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
is it the best try to settle or file motion to set aside ? How soon they can start garnish ?
Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

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.

Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

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.

Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

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.

Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

The window for this question has expired, so I may not be able to continue posting answers (I'll respond as long as the window allows me to)........but I hope I've answered your initial question. If so, please take time to positively rate our conversation so I may receive credit for assisting. Thanks again!