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C.Fortunato
C.Fortunato, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 8023
Experience:  Admitted NYS Bar, member ABA, NYSBA, NYCBA, QCBA, Licensed Real Estate Broker
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I am on social security disability since 12/2012. I got a large

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I am on social security disability since 12/2012. I got a large lump sum back pay and $1592.00 per month. I have kept my bank account perfectly audited in a way that shows no co-mingling of funds and that my account only contains money from SSDI. I know that under section 207 of The Social Security Act certain funds are exempt from being taken from creditors. However, still, on 3/19 a $2,500 Levy came out of my bank account for a medical bill. I started to investigate and got my credit reports only to find 8 other judgments all from exempt sources. (Non Federal etc). I took action immediately contacting the court, my creditors and my bank. I gave them bank statements and my SSDI award letter with amount. I just got another levy for $6,280.00 and I fought it myself and got a motion to dismiss and that my story substantiates my claim and the money will be returned to me. I did the same with the other levies and I was just waiting.
My problem and questions revolve around how these judgments could have been granted
in the first place. Is it not true that a creditor must supply me the creditor with sufficient notice of an actual court hearing and date of hearing? I have gotten collection letters, information subpoenas and warning letters telling me if they are not paid that further action such as a lawsuit may be next. I wait to see if I get a hearing date only then to see all these creditors were just given a judgment by default when I never received any prior notification of a hearing to contest. How can this happen? I live in the State of New Jersey. Is this grounds for a motion to vacate the judgments or at least proof sent to me that a letter of hearing was sent? For the two levies that have already won were issued a writ and I got levied. Like I said I will get my money back for this is illegal. I am very concerned about the other judgments and that they might be granted a writ to take things from me. My car I bought with my SSDI funds for $11,000.00 straight out with no loan. I understand with a judgment and writ they can also take my car. First, can these judgments be vacated on the grounds that I was never served proper notice of a hearing.
How can a creditor get one in a court without me knowing there was even a court date?
Like I said, my bank and creditors and the court have been sent all appropriate documents warning them. Yet, the court still gave another levy for $6,280.00. Is there any scenario that a creditor can get a judgment and writ without me knowing? I have taken all my money out of the bank except for a couple hundred dollars. What is your insight? Can I sell my car and by a cheaper one that would make it not worth the time for the creditors to take it? Comments?

cfortunato :

Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Consumer Protection attorney here to assist you.

cfortunato :

Yes - you are supposed to be served court papers before any creditor can get a judgment.

cfortunato :

This is because you have the absolute right to defend yourself before a judgment is granted to any creditor.

cfortunato :

However, creditors often claim the debtor was served - even though he was not - and they "get away" with it.

cfortunato :

For every default judgment that was issued, you have the right to go to the clerk at the court that issued the judgment and ask to file an "Order to Show Cause to Vacate a Default Judgment", based on the fact that you never received the court papers.

cfortunato :

If the creditors cannot prove you were served (which will be difficult since you were not served), the default judgments will be vacated.

cfortunato :

By the way - the reason creditors claim service even though no service was done, is it is less expensive for them - as they generally have to pay someone around $50 to serve papers.

Customer:

GREAT THANK

cfortunato :

You're welcome!

cfortunato :

And please have a pleasant day!

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