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Law Pro
Law Pro, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 24870
Experience:  20 years experience in consumer advocacy, debt collection violations, contracts, construction
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Im in California. I owed $3000 on an Amex cc that I never

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I'm in California. I owed $3000 on an Amex cc that I never paid. They sent it to collections who eventually filed a lawsuit locally. I didn't respond so they got a judgement and put a lien on my house. We're $1m underwater on the house, we're in default and we're probably going to lose it. I have three questions. 1 - Why did they put a lien on the house? Isn’t it easy for them to pull the records and see that that’s a deadend? 2 - The judgement is for $3300. I was told that if I don't show up in court the judgement is limited to $3000; interest, penalties and atty's fees cannot be added unless I appear and contest it. Why is the judgement for $3300? 3 - I have money in my business checking (sole-proprietorship) that can easily cover the $3300, so I was about to call them and negotiate a settlement, before they attach the checking account. But I was just told that because they have a lien on the house, they can't also pursue the checking account. Is that true? tx

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Sorry for your situation.

I have three questions. 1 - Why did they put a lien on the house? Isn’t it easy for them to pull the records and see that that’s a deadend?


Attorneys file liens against the judgment debtor's real property as a matter of course - they do that routinely. They don't really have an idea if the property is "upside-down" or "underwater". It's just a matter of them doing their due diligence.




2 - The judgement is for $3300. I was told that if I don't show up in court the judgement is limited to $3000; interest, penalties and atty's fees cannot be added unless I appear and contest it. Why is the judgement for $3300?

That is not correct - if the credit card agreement allows for the charging of attorney's fees - they can ask the court to add those fees to the outstanding balance.



3 - I have money in my business checking (sole-proprietorship) that can easily cover the $3300, so I was about to call them and negotiate a settlement, before they attach the checking account. But I was just told that because they have a lien on the house, they can't also pursue the checking account.

Regretfully, that is not correct either. That the judgment creditor has multiple ways to try and satisfy the judgment - execution against real estate, garnishment of wages, garnishment of bank accounts and even execution against the judgment debtor's personal property.

What usually happens is they like to go after bank accounts because that's the quickest and easiest.

So, I would change who I bank with to a small local bank and then even put limited funds into the bank.



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