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Ugh... what a headache...

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Okay, so my wife and I were served separately for an account that a collection agency had on its books. Against my better judgment, my wife advised we just ignore it. If I could have afforded the filing fees (we make just a little too much to waive the fees and we both would have had to pay to answer) I would have fought it a little more vigorously, but instead we let it go and they got a default judgment. Again, I would have answered if I could have afforded it, but I couldn't and didn't and there's no point in trying to figure out how to get the judgment vacated or quashed now.

As the natural result of getting a default judgment, the plaintiffs went for the jugular and filed to garnish my wages. They can't garnish my wife's wages because she's a domestic goddess and takes care of our disabled daughter during the day and does private tutoring for cash a couple evenings a week.

Here's where I made my second mistake. I was already in the midst of paying off a prior garnishment and was under the impression that in Colorado you may only be garnished by one entity at a time. This is true, except in the first, I entered into an agreement with the plaintiff for a reduced amount each week (instead of them taking the maximum 25% of my net income each check they were taking the equivalent of $150/month) which apparently nullified it as a garnishment for the purposes of how many could be taken at once.

So, for pretty much all of October and the first part of November the leeches took 25% of my net income and I paid off the judgment and what they'd requested from my payroll department. I thought I was finally done with them (except asking them to vacate the judgment as a courtesy to prevent damage to my CR). Then last week I got a letter saying i owed them an additional $11.85.

I'm totally confused. They filed the garnishment. My payroll department complied and somehow I still owe them? Is this common? How should I respond? I sent the account manager at the collection agency an e-mail saying I was willing to pay it and asking her to explain the additional charge and why they didn't just get it from the garnishment, but she's never responded to my e-mails and I'm not really expecting her to do so this time either.

I'm tempted to make them go through the hassle of garnishing me again for $11.85, but they included a line in the letter that said something to the effect that any costs incurred in collecting that amount would be added to what I owed them and I don't really have anything to stand on from a legal point of view.

As I said in my e-mail to the account manager. I'm not willing to fight them over $11.85 since I'd lose and it'd become a lot more, but I want to be sure that when I send them a payment for $11.85 that that is it and they won't be coming back for more.

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At this point I would send the $11.85 in a certified fund, cashiers check or traceable money order and be done with it. They are in a position to cause you more grief than you are to cause them. Pay the balance and put them behind you. You will fell better about the issue being done, if not feeling vindicated for getting back at them.

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Make sure to make a demand for satisfaction of judgment in the letter to the creditor. Otherwise, you can send them the money and they will continue to ask for more by not closing out the case properly.

Keep all receipts (pay stubs, payroll accounting records, and the cashiers check). If a Satisfaction of Judgment is not filed within 2 weeks of them receiving the $11.85, in most states the defendant can request that the court issue it if they can prove they satisfied the judgment.

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