have you been sued? What should you do now? we'll talk about some of your options
Text of Have you been sued
I Have Been SUED!!
What do I do now?
The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly of Using Bankruptcy to Protect Your Paycheck, Bank Accounts, Car, Home & Other Assets From Being Seized by Your Creditors
In most situations in life we have choices. Some will turnout well. Some not so much. The first choice is “do I dosomething or do I do nothing.”
If you have been sued, doing nothingis always a bad choice. Even if youowe the money there are things thatyou can do to protect yourself.
Ignoring the lion does not makeit go away.
It just makes you an easy meal.
writThe two basic types of law suits for money.Small Claims Court The form will have a trial date. (No attorneys) No written answer required. Just show up for the trial
Superior Court In California you have 30 days to FILE a written answer. If you do not file an answer in 30 days they will get a “default judgment” against you. Case over. You lost.
If you do not answer or lose atat a court trial the creditors get aCourt Judgment against you.
It will have how much that thecreditor can take from you.
The Creditor Got a Court Judgment Against Me!
What Can They Do With ThatCourt Judgment?
ggThe Judgment Creditor Can:
• Take (garnish) 1/4 of your paycheck. This is aftertaxes but before any other amounts like health insuranceor retirements are deducted. If your income is less than ¾ or less of the minimum wage they cannot take anything.They do not have to give you notice before taking your money!
L• Seize (levy) all the money in your bank account. This is true even if it leaves you no money forfood, rent, utilities, car payments, gas,payments to other creditors or anything else.
Just like garnishment of yourpaycheck, they do not give younotice before taking your money!
• Can demand that other people who owe youmoney pay them instead of you. That could even beyour friends and relatives. If you are self-employed, thatmeans that they can go your customers and make thecustomers pay them instead of you. Needless to say, that isnot very good for business. The Creditor can also seize inventory, and tools of your trade if the tools are worthmore than the exempt amount.
• Take and sell your car to pay them what you owe.
Fortunately they cannot take and sell your car if there isless than $2,900 equity because that is the amount that is“Exempt” and protected under California Exemption Laws.
• Place a “Judgment Lien” on your home. This meansThat you cannot sell your home without paying them.
There are “exemptions” that can be used to protect your equity in a home that will be covered next. If you arebelow the exempt amount this lien can be “avoided.”
• Have the Sheriff sell your home to pay the creditor.If the creditor tries to sell your homethey have to sell it for enough moneyto pay off the mortgages, cost ofsale, and the amount of yourexemption. Anything beyond that canbe used to pay their judgment. Thereally scary part is they do not have to sell it for full value.
What Can I Do To StopCreditors That Have Court
Judgments From TakingThings From Me?
You have bankruptcy and non-bankruptcy options.Non-Bankruptcy Options:•Pay the debt in full.•Make a deal with the creditor to pay in monthly payments.•Negotiate a settlement amount and pay that (plus incometaxes on the amount “forgiven” by the creditor.)Obviously you cannot make a deal if the creditor won’tagree to it. If you have no money you cannot make a deal.
Bankruptcy Options:•File Chapter 7 bankruptcy to wipe outmost debts. This is usually the best andleast costly way to end debt problems.•File a Chapter 13 bankruptcy toreorganize some debts and wipe outother debts. Chapter 13 bankruptcywill be covered in another program.
When a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is filed there is an immediate“automatic stay” restraining order that stop Creditors from:•calling you•threatening you;•harassing you or your relatives;•contacting you or your employer;•filing or continuing a law suit; or•trying to collect a court judgment.
A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy will wipe outalmost all consumer debts like:•Credit cards•Payday loans•Personal loans•Prior landlords•Old utility bills•Debts from vehicle repossessions
•Medical bills•Foreclosed junior mortgages•Cell phone and cable bills•Automobile accidents (if not alcohol or drug related.)•Some income taxes•Some overpayment of unemployment or disability benefits
I Have Secured Debts Like a Loan
On My Home, Car, Furniture,Jewelry or Appliances.
What Happens to These InBankruptcy?
If you owe money on a car, you cankeep the car by “reaffirming” the
debt. Other debts secured by things like jewelry, furniture, appliances,electronics and even your home can be keptsimply by continuing to make the payments.
There is a saying “knowledge is power.”
Isn’t it time for you to get your power back?
I’m Gary Fraley. I am a Sacramento Bankruptcy Attorneywith over 35 years experience helping people just like you.I am a California State Bar CertifiedBankruptcy Law Specialist. I have a perfect10.0 rating by the Avvo.com rating service. Call me now at (916) 485-5444 andschedule your free attorney consultation tosee if filing bankruptcy could help you.