Bankruptcy Law Questions? Ask a Bankruptcy Lawyer.
Welcome to Just Answer (“JA”)! My name is Maverick.
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1. Can you please state your specific legal question so we know what type of answer you are looking for?
1. Would it be best to pay an attorney to handle the matter, or is it possible for me to reach a similar outcome handling it myself?
2. What steps should I take to handle the matter?
1. Since a judgment has already issued, there is not much that a lawyer will be able to assist you in doing here. Further the lawyer will likely charge $200 plus an hour and if you hire one, it will create the impression that you have money or assets that you are trying to protect or conceal. Rather, it is best to try to negotiate this yourself. The damage to your credit is already done at this point, so the only thing you can try to do is limit the amount of assets that they can try to recover from you going out into the future 10 plus years.
2. Missouri has the following assets that are exempt from execution: see this link.
3. You can items what you have and see if it is covered by an exemption. Anything that is not is subject to execution or garnishment and thus you would try to negotiate some FINAL happy medium because they would incur additional costs, legal fees, and time in trying to collect on the non exempt assets over the life of the outstanding judgment.
Not really concerned with them going after assets as I keep the balances low on my personal bank accounts and I don't have any property or cars in my personal name.
1. Is my only option in negotiating this contacting the attorney that filed the judgment, or can I contact the plaintiff directly?
If you are not a lawyer yourself, then you can contact the plaintiff directly. However, at the end of the day, you want to make sure that the lawyer is copied on all communications to the plaintiff to avoid them from playing good cop, bad cop with you and thereby changing the terms of the deal at the last minute. Also, from a practical standpoint, it is best to get any deal you make signed off in writing by the plaintiff AFTER it has been reviewed by his lawyer. There have been instances where a judge did not approve a settlement because the lawyer was not in the loop at the time the settlement was made by the parties.