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Ask Law Educator, Esq. Your Own Question
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 116715
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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I currently have a wage garnishment for a judgment that I

Customer Question

Hi - I currently have a wage garnishment for a judgment that I assume was entered by a company that is no longer in business (or I can't locate them anywhere online). The attorneys firm that is representing them is collecting the funds on their behalf and will not give me their contact information for the obvious reason. Also, this same law firm entered a judgment against me a few years ago to try and collect funds from a company that had filed bankruptcy and gone out of business and I was signed with Lexington Law at that time which they made them remove the judgment altogether. How do I proceed with trying to get this judgment dismissed?
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: New Jersey
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: Yes, there is a docket number for the case. One of which I just finished paying for and now the new judgment has kicked in
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I believe that's all
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ray replied 9 months ago.

Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to help you today.Please bear with me a few moments while I review your question and respond.

Expert:  Ray replied 9 months ago.

Chapter 7 is an option here to discharge the judgment and any other debts you have.This would allow you to start fresh here.Otherwise if you want to try and attack the existing judgment you have to find the court where judgment is entered and file motion to set aside or for new hearing if that is possible given the time that has passed.It is very difficult to do this if it has been several years.

Again Chapter 7 would be a means to discharge judgment and stop wage withholding.If you have other debts you want to get out from under this would be a good idea as it allows you a fresh start without having this hanging over you.

Free report here, this might also you to check what debts.judgments you may have .

I appreciate the chance to help you today.Thanks again.

You may want to order your credit report it would have judgment information including the court that was involved.

Expert:  Ray replied 9 months ago.

You can motion the court if it has not been more than a year since it was entered

RULE 4:50. Relief From Judgment Or Order

4:50-1. Grounds of Motion

On motion, with briefs, and upon such terms as are just, the court may relieve a party or the party's legal representative from a final judgment or order for the following reasons: (a) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect; (b) newly discovered evidence which would probably alter the judgment or order and which by due diligence could not have been discovered in time to move for a new trial under R. 4:49; (c) fraud (whether heretofore denominated intrinsic or extrinsic), misrepresentation, or other misconduct of an adverse party; (d) the judgment or order is void; (e) the judgment or order has been satisfied, released or discharged, or a prior judgment or order upon which it is based has been reversed or otherwise vacated, or it is no longer equitable that the judgment or order should have prospective application; or (f) any other reason justifying relief from the operation of the judgment or order.

Note: Source-R.R. 4:62-2 (first sentence); amended July 15, 1982 to be effective September 13, 1982; amended July 13, 1994 to be effective September 1, 1994.

4:50-2. Time of Motion

The motion shall be made within a reasonable time, and for reasons (a), (b) and (c) of R. 4:50-1 not more than one year after the judgment, order or proceeding was entered or taken.

Note: Source-R.R. 4:62-2 (second sentence).

4:50-3. Effect of Motion

A motion under R. 4:50 does not suspend the operation of any judgment, order or proceeding or affect the finality of a final judgment, nor does this rule limit the power of a court to set aside a judgment, order or proceeding for fraud upon the court or to entertain an independent action to relieve a party from a judgment, order or proceeding.

If it has been more than a year here Chapter 7 is your only option at this point.

Expert:  Ray replied 9 months ago.

You can file Chapter 7 pro se on your own without a lawyer

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I don't wish to file chapter 7 as I don't have a tremendous amount of debt and I'm in the process of making a purchase. I just don't like the idea of paying a judgment to a law firm that is collecting on behalf of a false client. Apparently, they looked on my credit report to search for debt that was in collection and decided to go after it. As I mentioned, when I was signed up with Lexington Law they made this law firm remove the judgment that they entered against me trying to collect funds from a company they were supposedly representing but that company had filed bankruptcy and was no longer in business. Had I not been a client of Lexington Law at that time, I would have had a wage garnishment for that judgment as well. I just don't know how to proceed at this point because this is the same situation (the company that they are collecting on behalf of is no longer in business)
Expert:  Ray replied 9 months ago.

Well even if the company filed Chapter 11 here any recovery goes to the bankruptcy trustee.So the fact that they bankrupted might not save you from the judgment.You can certainly try to negotiate with these guys threatening Chapter 7 --they don't know if you will .See if they will reduce the judgment.Relocation if possible would help you there are many states that don't allow garnishment o f wages.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I am not satisfied with the answer to my question.
Expert:  Ray replied 9 months ago.

Let me opt out here, another expert will pick it up.Please do not respond and do not rate.You can have a second opinion here.Thanks.

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 9 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
I am a DIFFERENT CONTRIBUTOR, as your previous contributor opted out of continuing to work with you.
I am afraid you have a big issue, because while you may not want to pay a judgment, it is a court order and it is not about what you want, it is about what the court ordered. So your choices are either pay the judgment, file a motion to vacate the judgment if it has not been more than a year OR if you can prove newly discovered evidence of fraud, or file bankruptcy yourself.
If you have the judgment against you though, those are your options even though you dislike them we cannot help what the law provides for you as we did not make up the facts of your situation or the law and I am truly sorry for your situation.
We get clients in our offices and customers on this site all the time that are in legally hopeless situations because the law just does not support what they want to do, but all you can do is work within those laws and try to minimize the amount you have to pay by negotiation if you cannot qualify to vacate or do not want bankruptcy.