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It's impossible to tell how long before they try to freeze the account. If you signed a confession of judgment then it makes it substantially easier and faster on them. If they hurry they can get it done in a few days but most of the time it takes a week or so, maybe two.
You should have time to file a bankruptcy if that is what you want to do. Usually a lawyer can throw together a basic bankruptcy petition in a day or two and then get it filed which results in an automatic stay being issued by the judge. If you think that is what you want to do then don't delay, call the lawyer and tell him to do it ASAP. You ,ay even want to go and withdraw all of your money from the bank and cancel the ACH at the bank. Of course, you will declare the money in the bankruptcy, withdrawing it just keeps it from being tied up while the court sorts everything out.
Feel free to ask any follow ups in this thread.
You will have to call the clerk of courts and ask them what has been filed. While some of them are online, I have never seen an office that was up to date. They may exist, but I think most of them upload in batches and so it can be days or weeks behind.
If course, the clerk's offices will be closed today but you can call tomorrow. Your name will be one of the ones on the case so you can have them search by that.
Yes, the bankruptcy law can get the judge to issues and order that will unfreeze the account but it can take a while to get that order. The stay I mentioned happens automatically and so after the judge issues that, which will done done immediately upon filing, they can't legally freeze the account.
Yes, but let me ask a few questions to make sure I have all the facts.
1) Were you being sued at the time you signed the Affidavit of Confession of Judgment?
2) Are the terms of the settlement and payments set forth in there?
3) If not, is there a separate document that has the terms of the settlement and payout agreement?
4) Is it the original creditor or a collection agency threatening you?
I think they will likely have to file the lawsuit and then serve you and allow the answer time to pass before they can get a judgment and garnishment order.
It doesn't mean they can't lie to the court or cut corners somehow but to do it properly you should have at least 30 days or so from when they file the lawsuit. Most courts don't like to take a confession of judgment that was signed without a lawsuit being filed and then just automatically issue a garnishment on it because they know that the person may have made payments, etc. However, some collection companies and their lawyers misrepresent or leave out facts and get judges to sign order but the judge will be miffed if they do that and don't tell him.
So, the answer is still to have the lawyer file bankruptcy ASAP. That definitely stops them in their tracks because your lawyer will send them the Notice of Automatic Stay and they can't do anything or they will be held in contempt by the bankruptcy judge.
That's the way it is supposed to work anyway.
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Of course, please feel free to ask any follow up questions in this thread. I want to be sure that all of your questions are answered. In addition, once you issue your Positive Rating the question will lock open and you can come back to it anytime in the future if you think of something else.
It shouldn't be, unless it was signed following a lawsuit and entered as a judgment by the court. The court is going to want some kind of proof that you actually signed it and that it is the correct amount, at least if the judge looks at what he is signing.
You will likely receive a Petition for breach of contract along with some type of request for the judge to recognize the confession of judgment, although that can be just a few lines in the petition.
It's unusual for one of these to be signed without a lawsuit being filed.
Really those paragraphs appear to be just legalese meaning if there are other issues they can be litigated as well. It's pretty standard language in any agreement like this and doesn't affect anything we've talked about.
Kind of. They can try something tricky where they are supposed to give you notice but don't.
They could also ask the court to issue an injunction and freeze the account on a temporary basis while they serve you and go through the lawsuit. The judges really don't like to do this because of the various constitutional issues with due process but it is theoretically possible. Usually it is done when they have an actual interest in the account (ex. You were in a partnership together) and not just when a creditor is trying to get money.
Contact the clerk about what?
Also, are you talking about filing a petition for bankruptcy yourself?
Yes, contact everywhere you can. However, it is extremely unlikely that, even if they filed the judgment there in NY, that they can "domesticate" it there in CA without notifying you and giving you a chance to answer the request for garnishment. They can't do it without being dishonest anyway. The court has to allow you a chance to respond to the proposed "domestication of the foreign order" in case you have an argument against it.
No, the court will accept a copy unless there is some question as to authenticity. If the court notices that it is a copy the judge will certainly consider it yet another reason to give you a chance to respond.
Great on using the bankruptcy lawyer instead of trying to do it yourself. I would never, ever recommend someone do that themselves (or prepare real estate documents or represent themselves in a criminal matter). Those are things that really require a lawyer's expertise.
That paragraph is pretty standard as well. It doesn't actually add anything since that is the law anyway.
Bankruptcy sounds like the most viable option.
Yes, absolutely to both the questions.
The problem it will create is that the bank account won't be automatically "unfrozen" when you file bankruptcy. The lawyer will have to ask for a hearing, they'll have to be notified and given time to attend, etc. so the bank account could be frozen for 30 days or more. It's not likely that it would be frozen for that length but it is certainly possible and I assume that would cause issues for you (I know it would for me!) so it is much better off to act fast and beat them to the punch.
I would think that if you get your lawyer started on it tomorrow then you will beat them to it.
I think they have to sue first but not necessarily to "get" a judgment, just to have the court acknowledge the one they have. That takes less time than getting a judgment but still should be plenty of time to file bankruptcy.
Best wishes to you and please don't forget to leave a Positive Rating so I receive credit for my work.