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Notice of Hearing


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I posted this about a week ago in Collection but have decided that this is probably the better forum.

I am being sued by a local dentist who did work on my wife to the tune of $7,400. At this point in time, I only make $11,440 per year at my job and an additional $50 per month in other work. My job is 20 to 25 hours per week and I spend the rest of the time taking care of my disabled wife.

We really have no assets. We don't own our home (it belongs to our family and is not in our names), our car is 10 years old, we have no savings, life insurance, etc. and any home furnishing we own are at least 8 to 10 years old.

I am not contesting the amount owed to the dentist. I just simply cannot pay it at this time although there is a chance of some inheritance from a sick relative in the months to come. If they were to pass away, any money we receive would be used to pay down debt.

I also realize that, by the current federal law on wage garnishment, $217.50 of the $220 is exempt from garnishment.

Here are my questions:

1. Do I have to go to the hearing? I have already answered the letter from the court saying I do not contest the amount owed. If the end result of my not contesting is the same judgment whether I attend or not, I would rather not take time off of work or away from my wife to go.

2. Is there any way to reaffirm I am not contesting and explain the situation via a letter to the court/judge?

3. While I would rather, eventually, pay our debts back, would I be better off to explore bankruptcy just for the protection? I do realize that any inheritance received within a year or two of a bankruptcy would go to paying off the debt. We do have other debts that, I'm sure, will eventually come to this, so bankruptcy is an open option.

Thanks in advance for all your help.

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