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Debtor's Exam coming up soon, advice?


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So this coming Wednesday, May 18th 2011 I have a debtor's exam scheduled, I am the plaintiff and and owed the judgment for approximately 7,500 dollars plus some additional costs. The short version of the story is, I went into a business venture with a friend of mine (or so I thought) and he ended up ripping me off, cutting contact, and keeping all the money. When I sued him, he didn't show up and I was awarded a default judgment. He didn't attempt to appeal and he was professionally served and even responded to the summons, so he is basically hosed in that regard and wouldn't have a leg to stand on in terms of disputing the original judgment or to try and claim he wasn't served...

So, after putting it off for a few months, I scheduled the debtor's exam and I have a few question for anyone who might have gone through this before yourself. I'd like opinions from both people who were the debtor OR the creditor in a similar matter.

I understand that this person can be held in contempt of court if they don't show (and if they don't produce tax returns, bank statements, ect. which I requested) but even with that being said, I still think it is unlikely that this person will show up for this. He was professionally served for this exam as well. I only say this because I know him and know his patterns. I understand that sometimes the judge can have a bench warrant issues and have him brought it to post bail.

I am curious, in cases like this, I understand that SOMETIMES the bail is set at the amount of the judgment and it's very easy at that point for the creditor to simply attach the funds and call it a day. How exactly does this work, assuming he doesn't show? Will I have a chance to talk to the judge and explain the situation right then and there? We live in Maryland, by the way, in case that matters.

Anyhow, I appreciate anyone taking the time to read this and will look forward to any advice. I understand the process and pretty much know the questions I'll be asking if he shows, I really just think it's way more likely that he doesn't show. Also, I know many people have been on the receiving end of this, but please remember that I am a regular hard working person who was RIPPED OFF by this guy and am simply looking to recoup the funds that were stolen, I'm not a debt collector, attorney, or anything like that.

Thanks in advance and let me know if there are any questions or anything I need to clarify!

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Sorry I don't have a answer for your question...

Did you file a police report and try to have criminal charges brought against the defendant? It would be a good thing to have if he ever filed bankruptcy, it would help make this judgement stick with this POS till it's paid.

I'm asking because your situation sounds similar to what happened to me.

Edited by sano
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Sorry I don't have a answer for your question...

Did you file a police report and try to have criminal charges brought against the defendant? It would be a good thing to have if he ever filed bankruptcy, it would help make this judgement stick with this POS till it's paid.

I'm asking because your situation sounds similar to what happened to me.

I didn't. I had a lawyer help me with the underlying judgment case and he indicated that I couldn't do anything from a criminal standpoint which kind of surprised me based on what this guy did.

But, this guy actually did file Chapter 7 BK about 2 years before I got the judgment, so I have a good 5 years to come after him and he won't be able to file BK again in the meantime if I understand.

Sorry to hear you got screwed like I did, I'm guessing the guy filed BK and you never got paid?

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Guest usctrojanalum

Alright, so while people can be held in contempt for failing to show up to a debtor exam - sometimes it not just as easy as you serving a subpoena and a judge issuing a bench warrant on the day the defendant does not show.

I've been following a contempt case on the internet here and it took 3 court orders for the contemnor to even be threatened by the judge to be arrested. The judge gave the contemnor a lot of time and a lot of chances to do what is called "purge" the contempt.

It's a hard thing to do google, because it is not done regularly in practice but there will definitely be a section in the Maryland rules of Civ Pro that describe the process.

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In California your process is straight forward. If he's a moron and doesn't show you pay to have a bench warrant issued. You pay the sheriff to pick him up. Simple as that. Some time in jail will help motivate him to pay. If he can't pay let him sit in jail until he can. Either way, you're good.

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