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Law Pro
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Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 24870
Experience:  20 years experience in consumer advocacy, debt collection violations, contracts, construction
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I live in LA, CA and received a letter today stating that I

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I live in LA, CA and received a letter today stating that I am being sued by Midland Funding LLC that I have 30 days to respond after this summons dated (10/25/13) it is already (11/13/13) so I have already lost 18 days. That my written response must be in proper legal form if I want the court to hear my case.
The amount is $7,057.51. The majority of which is accrued interest, I believe the original amount that I was paying when I had the means was around $2,500.00.
I did not pay my cc bill as I have been out of work for over a year and simply did not have the means to pay. The collection agency that called were very aggressive so I ignored the telephone calls.
I am married with 2 children, my name is XXXXX XXXXX the mortgage, my only assets my name is XXXXX XXXXX is our family car.

My question is is that as I am unemployed and not able to pay the full amount is there an organization that I may contact in Los Angeles that may help me sift through this situation and come up with a payment plan with this company?

I do not want to embarrass my husband by having his salary garnished.
I take responsibility for non payment and would like to resolve but do not have the means to pay an attorney a retainer to resolve this situation.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Law Pro replied 3 years ago.
Hi! My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'll be the attorney assisting you.

Sorry for your situation.

When is the last time you paid monies toward this alleged debt?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hello Fred,

Thank you for your swift response.

Its been a while, I would have to look back at bank records but probably at least a year.
Expert:  Law Pro replied 3 years ago.
Could it be more than 4 years ago?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I am reading the documents now and the First cause of action (Account Stated) relays;

13. Plaintiff realleges and incorporates by reference the foregoing paragraphs.

14. Within the last four (4) years, Defendant became indebted on the Account to the Plaintiff in the sum of $7,057.51.
Expert:  Law Pro replied 3 years ago.
The reason for that paragraph's statement - the statute of limitations.

A statute of limitations is a law which places a time limit on pursuing a legal remedy in relation to wrongful conduct. After the expiration of the statutory period, unless a legal exception applies, the injured person loses the right to file a lawsuit seeking money damages or other relief.

The statute of limitations in CA for breach of contract or open account (credit card account) is 4 years.

So they are stating you paid within the last 4 years so that they have a valid claim.

If you haven't paid in over 4 years - they would now be too late to be able to sue and collect upon the alleged debt.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I understand that I am being sued, I do not believe it has been 4 years. Do you have any advice as to my question;

As I am unemployed and not able to pay the full amount is there an legal organization that I may contact in Los Angeles that may help me sift through this situation and come up with a payment plan with this company?

Or is my family at risk of my husbands wages being garnished and or our family car being confiscated?
Expert:  Law Pro replied 3 years ago.
As I am unemployed and not able to pay the full amount is there an legal organization that I may contact in Los Angeles that may help me sift through this situation and come up with a payment plan with this company?

Regretfully, there is not a Legal Aid that will assist you with this type of legal problem.

What assets do you own?

Did you incur this debt during the marriage?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
The only asset that my name is XXXXX XXXXX is our family car. If we do not have our car the children will not be able to attend school, my husband to drive to work or my elderly mother in law will not be able to attend Dr.s appointments it will be a fiasco.

Yes I was married when the debt was incurred.

Would you advise filing for bankcruptcy?

I am at my wits end, is this a situation that can be resolved via filling out the documents myself online?
Expert:  Law Pro replied 3 years ago.
The problem is - that because the debt was incurred during the marriage - it's a joint debt.

In the handful of states with "community property" rules, most debts incurred by one spouse during the marriage are owed by both spouses.

In community property states, most debts incurred by either spouse during the marriage are owed by the "community" (the couple), even if only one spouse signed the paperwork for a debt. The key here is during the marriage. So if you incur a debt, such as a student loan, while you're single, and then get married, it won't automatically become a joint debt.

In community property states, a couple's income is shared as well. All income earned by either spouse during marriage, as well as property bought with that income, is community property, owned equally by husband and wife. Gifts and inheritances received by one spouse, as well as separate property owned before marriage that's kept separate, are the separate property of one spouse. All income or property acquired before or after a divorce or permanent separation is also separate.

In a community property state, creditors of one spouse can go after the assets and income of the married couple to make good on joint debts (as stated before - in a community property state, most debts incurred during marriage are considered joint debts).

For example:

When Linda's business fails, she owes $45,000 to suppliers and other creditors. Because Linda and her husband live in a community property state, these creditors can sue both her and her husband to collect the money owed. Linda no longer has an income to take, but her husband's is significant, and her creditors are able to garnish $3,000 of her husband's income per month until the debts are paid off.

Creditors can go after joint assets in a community property state no matter whose name is XXXXX XXXXX title document to the asset (in CA they cannot go after the house).



For example, a business owner's name may not be on the title to her spouse's boat, but in most community property states, that won't stop a creditor from suing in court to take the boat to pay off the business owner's debts (assuming the boat was purchased with community funds, and not separate funds).


As to one spouse's separate debt, such as one spouse's child support obligation from a prior relationship, or a debt in one spouse's name only where the spouse hid the fact that he or she was married, a creditor can go after only that spouse's half of the community property to repay the debt.

In California, a judgment may be enforced for a period of ten years from date of entry. A judgment may be renewed for a period of ten (10) years after it has been entered for a period of five (5) years from the date of entry. The life of a Judgment therefore may be extended beyond the ten year period if it is timely renewed.

Judgments may be enforced (collected) in a variety of ways. An Abstract of Judgment recorded with the County Recorder in a county where defendant owns real property may create a judgment lien. This may require payment if certain real property is sold or refinanced. Other lien and enforcement mechanisms may be available in specific circumstances. If a debtor is a plaintiff in a different lawsuit, or a beneficiary in an estate proceeding, the creditor may be entitled to a lien against a recovery from the lawsuit or inheritance. Judgments may also be enforced by garnishment of wages.

So, you can defend this civil action certainly. If you are sure that you have paid on the alleged debt or incurred some of the debt within the last 4 years - they are within the statute of limitations to collect on the debt.

The collection company will agree to accept payments definitely. They do not want to go to court.

Usually a debtor can set up payment arrangements paying them 75 cents on the dollar over time.

The problem with filing bankruptcy is - that it costs about $2,500.00 to retain an attorney and file bankruptcy.

Moreover, the court would probably make you pay back some of this debt. So, by the time you get all done with that - you've paid off the debt indirectly.

I would advise that you contact Midland Funding and see what kind of payment plan you can negotiate with them.

I would inform them that your marital income is nominal and you have no assets but want to try and resolve this without going to court.

By saying that - they will realize there are little to no assets that they can garnish and will work with you setting up a payment plan.

I know this isn’t going to be the answer you want to hear, and it’s certainly not what I want to tell you.

However, I wish to be completely honest with you, so I feel obligated to not give you false hope.


Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I appreciate your candour.

I just spoke with the collections agency, they were indifferent to my situation and want a lump sum of $5,975.00 or $300 a month for 2 years inclusive of court fees.

Expert:  Law Pro replied 3 years ago.
Ouch. I don't want to say something and set you up for a false impression that's wrong and too good to be true.

Well realize they can't take what you don't have.

You would be entitled to keep your car.

They can garnish wages but are limited.

A judgment creditor may be permitted to obtain up to 25% of net pay during each pay period. However, this remedy may be subject to a claim of exemption by individuals. The Court may determine that all or a larger portion than 75% is necessary for the support and maintenance of the defendant and his family members.

So, they don't necessarily automatically just get to garnish your wages - they have to jump through some hoops AND then the court decides.

They are limited. I would call them back and say $150 over 2 years or take your best shot because we/I have nothing and you won't be able to garnish our wages under the circumstance.

They might accept that given that they know you've done your homework.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I spoke with the collection agency again and they are mailing paperwork tomorrow referencing proof of hardship which will be submitted and the amount of $150 will potentially be considered.

Thank you for your assistance.
Expert:  Law Pro replied 3 years ago.
OK great. They usually will work with you somewhat. They only get paid if the debtor pays them.

BotXXXXX XXXXXne - they want paid.

If you threaten them with - go ahead I'm "judgement proof" - they will jump over backwards to negotiate a resolution.

I'm glad it worked out - bankruptcy is really not an option for you considering.

Kindly do not forget to positively rate my answers so I can be credited for assisting you.

Thank you!

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