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marquez305

My husband says he FORGOT to go to court...default judgement

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Ok...even though I personally find this hard to believe...here it is...

He was served (properly) for a credit card debt (we're in FL). Everything is proper, the debt is his. After getting the summons I tried to call to settle with the lawyer, but I couldn't afford the payments they were offering. So I read on here that it would be good for him to go to court and explain in front of the judge.

Fast forward to today. He gets a notice in the mail from the clerks office, it's a Notice of Default Judgement. After much fighting...he tells me that he forgot about the court date. I think the real reason is that he was afraid to go (his english is really not great and he speaks with a heavy accent, but that's a story for another day).

The fact is...now he has this judgement. He doesn't really own anything, but we do have a joint bank account (although it's pretty empty too).

My questions are these:

-Is it still a possible to try to settle with these people?

-Will my (our) bank account be frozen and how quick?

-Is there any way to still get his day in court (yes, I would acompany him)

I think he should file bankruptcy, unfortunately I cannot afford the fee right now...and both of our paychecks are direct deposited into our checking account so I guess potentially we could be even more in the hole if they freeze our account.

Help!

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It's possible to settle.

You may or may not be notified of the garnishment, bank account seizures. It could happen quickly or not at all. I'd try and settle.

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If the judgement is against him only . I suggest the firrst thing you do is go straight to the bank and open a 2nd account. It;ll take you 20 min . Then go to human resources in the morming and give them your new direct deposit numbers. If it's against both of you ehhhh still try to settle. Actually settle anyway , but still get a new account . Leave the other account in tact , so if the garnishments apply to him only they still have a seperate account to get their money from. In fact I believe you can open accounts with most banks online and over the phone if you want to, but you'll need your new account and routing number

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Thanks for the replies.

It is only him that has the problem. I have opened my own separate checking account, but it could take up to 2 pay cycles before the direct deposit changes...I am payed monthly so that's not good.

I'm going to call the lawyer for the cc company this morning and see if they will make a payment arrangement. Last time I called them they wanted all the money in 3 weeks, that was not possible. Actually it still isn't...we are pretty much month to month with bills and expenses. I guess I could use my credit card to get a cash advance, altough I hate to do that.

What happens when they freeze an account? Do they just take all the money out that is in there at the time or is it really frozen for a length of time?

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Do not get cash advances ( higher finance charges and no grace period)

What you want to do is get all of the cash you have avalible out and into the new account. Do nor spend any . This will be used to pay your credit card off in full before the due date from this point on!!!!!( No finance charges 20 - 30 day grace period)

From this point do not spend cash at all. Charge everything. This applys to both of you. this will consolidate your bills to just the card and give you a natural spending limit. This includes gas , food , utilities, cable, ect. Pay only 2 bills with your actual cash . Morgage/Rent, and the credit card in full before the due date . Most cards allow you to access your transactions and pay online now. Take advantage of this by using MS Money or quicken and create a budget that let's you know WHEN to spend your money strategically. Tell your employer you need live checks because your account may have been compromised

I dont know if it's on here or not but I also suggest researching how to get judgments removed from your credit reports

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Ok they say the amount he owes is $2176.96 and this includes all fees and interest. She said if I pay it all at once it will be $1300, does this sound right? She said I could pay by check on the phone, does THIS sound right? I can get the $1300 without using a cash advance.

If I give them the $1300 will they go away...forever...it being a judgement ?

I cannot get actual checks from my job...it is mandatory that I have direct deposit.

Our budget is good, I use MS Money...it's his past debt that is strapping us, but I'm trying really hard to pay it all off as fast as I can without having him do bankruptcy.

I'm going to read up on settling, make sure I do it right...but any advise here would be appreciated too. Thanks!

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When an account goes to collection the CA probably pays 10-20 cents per dollar for it. Getting a little more than half is a great deal to them. Just make sure to get the offer in writing and keep copies of everything. Also, just in case you are interested in salvaging any of his credit, get them to include a pay for delete on his credit report.

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Do not file bankruptcy . Especially for that amount of money . Even if they get a judgment I believe they would have to get a garnishment from his check . I believe they can only take a certain percentage of gross too. Worse case senario your husband is down 20-25% take home pay. DO not over extend your credit card on an old debt. Do not blow all of your money on a collection agancy . Give them a reasonable offer amount and get everything in writing and signed by them before you send any money at all. Make sure they can not sell or transfer any poertion . Make payments that you can afford small enough that you can pay them without breaking whatever the contract is. If you get over extended they will only attempt to screw you again. If you can do $1300 DO NOT USE THE CREDIT CARD FOR CASH WITHDRAWLS. That will only put you deeper in the hole. If you do decide to not follow that advice at least break the payment up into 3 or 4 payments. And no a budget is not fine if you can not lose yor job and be able to pay everything up for up to 3-6 months. Trust me on this one

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As far as the bankruptcy is concerned, I wouldn't have him file for just this...he has MUCH more debt. It's old credit card and medical bills. But like I said I am trying to pay them off.

They will let us make payments on this, but then it has to be paid in full. That's why I think the $1300 is a good deal for us.

She did not offer anything in writing and wants to do it all over the phone. I read that they are supossed to file a Satisfaction of Judgement, how will I know they did this...do I just trust them?

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do I just trust them?

No, never trust them. In order to have any legal foot to stand on you need anything they offer in writing.

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You also need to be sure you are released from the debt. Not that they just accepted less money.

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What state are you in ???? This is important.

If you pay them the $1300, get that agreement IN WRITING before you pay them a single cent ! Once you pay them, make sure you get a letter of satisfaction that is filed with the court so that the judgment is recorded as 'satisfied'.

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And DO NOT pay them with a check by phone! Buy a cashier's check or money-order and make a copy of it for your records. If they will accept $1300 then they're desperate. Say all I can come up with is $1000, take it or leave it. Just to see what they say.

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THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE. JUST LEGAL INFORMATION.

If you are willing to settle on their terms, just ask for a settlement agreement stating the terms and conditions. THen make sure it says what it is supposed to. You want a Satisfaction of Judgment filed and you want to be released from any further claims pertaining to this account.

If you want more leverage and maybe more time, you could file a Verified Motion to Set Aside the Default. In FL you need to allege the following:

1. That the failure to show up was due to excusable neglect because you thought you were working it out with the attorney, you miscalendered the date, you don't speak English well etc.

2. You have a meritorious defense.

3. You were dilligent in attempting to set aside the Judgment.

FL law allows the Judge a lot of lee way to set aside Default Judgments because they would rather see cases resolved on their merit and not on a technicality.

You have to sign the pleading under Penalty of Perjury and notarize it.

THis might buy you some time and help you gain a bit of leverage because now the creditor has to waste time in court.

Also, tell the creditor your husband is uncollectible and has no non-exempt assets. If you own a home, in Florida it is exempt from collection. He can also exempt $1,000 in cash or other personal property. He can also exempt $1,000 in any car that is in his name. If you put all the cash in your account and he doesn't want to exempt personal property (maybe because you own all the personal property Hint, Hint) he can claim $2000 in an automobile.

As the head of a houshold they can only garnish a certain amount of his check.

I hope this helps. If they are willing to give you terms you can live with, it is probably not worth using the above info. If you need to negotiate you need to know your rights and use this info.

I echo the above posts. Using a Cash Advance would not be a good choice. Borrow from a friend or family member first.

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