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Roger, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 30913
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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Past year, I have been paying off a credit card debt of

Customer Question

For the past year, I have been paying off a credit card debt of approximately $2800 after nearly being sued by the collection agency Kirschenbaum & Phillips. Over the summer, however, I ran into some financial trouble and was unable to keep up with my payments. Earlier this month, I received a letter from K & P on March 5, 2016 that offered to reduce what I owed if I agreed to make a series of 12 payments. I sent the response 3 days later agreeing to the 12 payments and made the first payment for March a few days later via their online payment system.
Today, a week after I sent the settlement letter, I received a letter from the debt collection agency stating that a judgment had been entered against me ordering me to pay original settlement amount. The judgment was dated two days after I received the settlement letter and the letter was sent out the day after I mailed the notice in which I agreed to the 12 payments.
I live from paycheck to paycheck and if they garnish my wages, it could have dangerous implications for me and it would basically leave me homeless. Are they allowed to get a judgment from the courts without notifying me first? Why would send out that letter reducing the debt and have me agree to a payment plan, if they were just going to go to the court and have me pay the full amount? What can I do?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  Roger replied 7 months ago.

Hi - my name is ***** ***** I'll be glad to assist.

If you were not served with process (summons and complaint), then you would have a right to contest the judgment and ask the court to set it aside. But, you first need to contact the court clerk's office and ask for a copy of the service or process / process server's return to see how they claim you were served.

If you didn't receive a notice to appear in court before the judgment was entered, you have the right to ask the court to set the judgment aside. You could ask the clerk's office if it has forms for this. If not, you can get a local legal aid or a local lawyer to help get this filed.

Also, if worse comes to worse, and you were served and didn't realize it, etc., you could file a petition for bankruptcy and have the debt discharged. That will keep your creditors from pursuing you over this and any other dischargeable debts.