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Capital One garnishment woes


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Confused newbie here.

In April 2003, Capital One got a default judgment against me for an account that I last sent payment to in May 2001. To make a long story a little shorter, flash forward to early September 2004 when Cap. One began garnishing my wages. (Yes, I ignored them completely from day one. Stupid stupid stupid. It's amazing what fear and ignorance can do to you. I am deeply embarrassed, and now, after reading several credit boards, hopping mad.)

Here are the details:

The original credit limit was $500 (haha). At the time of default, I think I owed $494. The small claims default final judgment total was for $1654.43. Yikes.

The judgment breaks down as follows:

  • principal sum: $1060.20 (they tacked on late fees and overlimit charges every month, plus charged 21.15% interest)
    court costs: $ 89.50
    attorney's fees: $ 345.00
    pre-judgment interest (from 5/17/02 - 2/1/03): $ 159.73

The interest rate (according to the judgment) is 6% per year until paid in full.

Ok. In September 2004 they began garnishment. Yes, they tried to contact me about it. Yes, I ignored them. I've already established how stupid I was...so let's move on.

In mid-October 2004, I received a final order of wage garnishment in the mail.

Here is an excerpt from the final order:

There remains outstanding the total sum of $1988.50, which includes the principal sum due, prejudgement interest, court costs, and attorney fees, (if any) due under the foregoing judgment entered by the above captioned court, plus post judgment interest at the statutory rate allowed pursuant to Florida Statute 55.03, and the garnishment costs.

next paragraph:

The garnishee by virtue of its response and/or non-response has accredited to this motion. In addition to the outstanding amounts as set forth heretofore, the plaintiff has expended additional garnishment costs in the amount of $198.00, which is included in the above sum in the paragraph above.

Today, I thought would be the day Cap. One would unlock my cuffs and let me go. I kept track of how much was deducted each time and how much I had left to pay, plus my paychecks show a year-to-date total. All they had left to take out today (so I thought) was about $15, plus interest that has accrued since they began garnishment three and a half months ago. I was expecting to see a much higher paycheck today. Of course it couldn't be that easy. Today they took out 25% of my net pay yet again, which brings the total that they've received so far to $2196.87. And this obviously won't be the last check either, because they took the full 25%. Unless what I still owed them exactly matched what they took out of this paycheck, they will take money out of my next paycheck too. I now have no clue how much. ???

So:

  • 4/9/03 default judgment says I owe $1654.43.
    10/7/04 final order of wage garnishment says I owe $1988.50.
    12/16/04 I've paid $2196.87, and still going.

So now I'm confused. If I'm understanding the final order of garnishment correctly, the post judgment interest that has accrued since the garnishment began is the only thing that they could have added to the $1988.50. According to the paragraphs from the final order that I showed you above, the $1988.50 includes: principal sum, prejudgement interest, court costs, attorney fees, and garnishment costs. Plus, post judgment interest up until the garnishment began.

I thought the interest rate was supposed to be 6% per year. Do these numbers make sense to anyone? What am I missing?

I'll call them to see how much they say is still owed, but I thought maybe someone here could shed some light for me before I do. I'm afraid that I'm going to call them and they are going to tell me something like according to Florida statute 90210, paragraph 666, apt. C, row 14, seat 2, we are allowed to add a screw-the-debtor-to-the-wall fee of *whatever the hell we want*, and they'll garnish my wages until I die and turn to dust. OK, maybe that's an exageration, but I am totally lost about what's going on here. And getting angrier and more upset by the minute. Mostly at myself. A $500 debt turns into $2200 and is still climbing. Way to go. Beat that one.

Also, when I checked my credit report on 12/1/04, Equifax was showing a DOLA of 5/2001 for this account (which is correct), but Transunion and Experian are showing the DOLA as 5/2004. I thought I read that judgments and garnishments do not change the DOLA. ???

AND the final default judgment says that the date of default was 5/17/02. When I received the summons back in January 2003, they had attached a copy of the final statement of account which shows my balance as $1060.20. With a $500 limit, doesn't that mean I defaulted long before 5/02? Not to mention that that is the exact amount of the principal sum they listed in the judgment. How could 5/02 be the DOLA?

Very confusing. Shoot me now.

Any thoughts? Anyone?

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