If you received a notice of default judgment you should contact the court that issued the judgment and ask them how you can file a motion to vacate the judgment. If you don’t want to hire a lawyer ask them how this is done pro se. Again look on nolo’s website for legal advice on a lot of situations. They also have a book on representing yourself in court which you could try to get at the local library.
You can negotiate a payment plan back or less of a balance because your money situation is tough, but if you have no money there isn’t much leverage for you. If they know your willing to work with them, and they get paid something most of the time they will accept a reasonable offer.
I went to one of those rip-off places in California. I wanted to check them out so I emailed the attorney general. I was advised to avoid this type of solution. The challenge I have is that I gave a few of my account nos. to the agency. Within a few months I had 2 accounts instead of one. Now I have judgements for bogus accounts.
I did not have the $150. per account for the fees to fight them. Still trying to get out of the mess. I tried to negotiate with the card companies and the current “collectors” not one will talk to me. Any ideas?
It depends on the state that you live in, and what assets you have.
In some states they can garnishee your wages. In almost all states they can placed a lien on your real property(house, car or truck). In some states they can “attach” your bank accounts. They may able to obtain the title for any vehicles for which there isn’t already a (registered) lien holder.
It takes time (often months) to put the paperwork through the system, and you won’t get any further warnings or notifications.
If they garnish wages, it will show up as a deduction on your paycheck. As in “Why did I only get $160 this week, instead of the $500 I normally get?”.
An attached bank account normally shows up as a string of bounced checks and/or an empty savings account. Or a arrest warrant for check fraud.
You need to speak to someone locally, and find out exactly what is going on, or may happen. It’s time to speak to a lawyer, and to whoever got the judgment against you. Now. Before the shit hits the fan. Look for the local Debtors Anonymous, they often have local referrals, and free information.
Fire the debt settlement company before their incompetence lands YOU in jail.
Thanks for the advice on default judgement. Very clear and concise advice, and I appreciate it and the quick response to my question.
I still have a question, which you may not be able to answer, so I can go to Nolo for that or to Legal Aid, but I was wondering, how do you have grounds to vacate a judgement? I didn’t respond to letters, and do owe the money, and was hoping that since I am with a Debt Settlement company (which has power of attorney) that perhaps it could be settled before it went to a lawsuit- but the debt isn’t in dispute.
Here is a flaw in Debt Settlement, I think – the company told me to send the court papers to them, which I did, but then I heard nothing – I should have been more proactive (and, of course, I still can be)- may be a character flaw in me, pretending the debt is going to go away! Or wanting the Debt Settlement company to take careof everything for me! I also don’t have enough money to pay for their services and I’m considering applying for no credit check payday loan.
I also heard heard that some people are judgement proof, and that they often don’t bother to go forward after the judgement – I have no assets at all.
Thanks again, everyone, for the timely and helpful responses.