HOW DO I COLLECT A JUDGMENT I WON IN SMALL CLAIMS COURT?

 

lawsuit
Winning the lawsuit is not nearly half the battle.  The real work begins when you try to collect on the judgment.

You lent someone $3500 and they promised to pay you back over time.  They make several payments, then stop.  Promises to resume payments “when things get better” are followed by “radio silence” in response to your phone calls and texts.

 

Understandably frustrated by this sequence of events, you sue in small claims court — and you win.  You now have a judgment against the defaulting party.  But how do you collect the judgment?  You’ve read about garnishments, levies, bank freezes and the like.  But what does that all mean?

Here is a good article discussing 10 tips on how to get started collecting your judgment.

Winning a lawsuit is just the start.  Collecting on the money judgment is the hard part.  You may want to consult with professionals who focus exclusively on the collection of judgments.

ATTORNEY ADVERTISING — PAST RESULTS DO NOT GUARANTEE FUTURE OUTCOMES

We are a debt relief agency, we help people file for Bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy Code. This Blog is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney-client relationship between you and the Blog publisher. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney

WHAT CAN I EXPECT TO HAPPEN AT MY SECTION 341 CREDITORS’ MEETING?

creditors-meeting
There is rarely one, let alone several, creditors at a section 341 creditors’ meeting.

Most individual, or consumer, debtors are leery of what might happen at their section 341 creditors’ meeting.  But they need not be.

 

The meeting is mandated by the law in bankruptcy cases and the debtor is required to attend and answer questions.  Your attorney, if you have one, will be there with you, as will the trustee appointed in your case.  You will all be seated at a table.  Creditors are invited to attend, but most, if not all, rarely do attend.

The trustee will ask a series of questions about your bankruptcy case and personal financial situation.  You will be answering those questions under oath.

I recently stumbled across a YouTube video that gives you a good idea about what happens at the section 341 meeting.  You can watch that video here.

If you’d like to receive more information regarding personal bankruptcy, drop me a line by hitting this link tzink@mccarthyfingar.com.

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ATTORNEY ADVERTISING — PAST RESULTS DO NOT GUARANTEE FUTURE OUTCOMES

We are a debt relief agency, we help people file for Bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy Code. This Blog is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney-client relationship between you and the Blog publisher. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

What Should I Do If a Debt Collector Is Trying to Take Me to Court?

service of process
You can be served in person, by substitution or by conspicuous service

A lawsuit in New York is started by the filing of a complaint with the appropriate court and the service of suit papers on the defendant.  (The party suing is called the “plaintiff” or “petitioner” and the party being sued is called the “defendant” or “respondent.”  The party serving suit papers on the defendant is called the “process-server.”)

 

Many defendants incorrectly think that they cannot be successfully sued if they are able to dodge the process-server.  That is not true, and very little can be achieved by seeking to outwit the process-server.

Under New York law, so-called “substitute service” may be properly effected if the process-server leaves a copy of the suit documents with a person of “suitable age and discretion” at the defendant’s home or place of work.  In a landlord-tenant case, the papers must be left with someone who is responsible who lives or works at the defendant’s home.  In such a case, legal papers cannot be left at the defendant’s work.

Further, if the process-server makes at least two attempts on different days or at different times on the same day to deliver the legal papers, but cannot find the defendant or responsible substitute, the process-server can effect service by leaving the papers in a “conspicuous place.”

In a civil case, that means the papers can be taped to the defendant’s door at his or her home or place of work.

In a landlord-tenant case, the papers can be taped to the door or slipped under the door of the defendant’s home.  The suit papers cannot be left at the defendant’s place of work in a landlord-tenant case.

If service is done by conspicuous service, the papers also have to be mailed to the defendant.

Thus, the process-server has three methods by which to achieve service and there is little to be gained by ignoring service, whether effected personally, or by substitute or conspicuous service.

If you have been served with suit papers, or believe you are about to be, and want to consider the options available to you, drop me a line at tzink@mccarthyfingar.com.

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ATTORNEY ADVERTISING — PAST RESULTS DO NOT GUARANTEE FUTURE OUTCOMES

We are a debt relief agency, we help people file for Bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy Code. This Blog is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney-client relationship between you and the Blog publisher. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

 

 

 

 

 

What If I Get a Default Judgment Against Me?

summons

Here is a common fact pattern that happens almost every business day in America.

Creditor gets a default judgment against a debtor.  The debtor has a car already subject to a lien and receives social security and some modest income from a part-time or temporary job.  All of the debtor’s cash assets are in one account with a bank or credit union.  The debtor has no other assets.

This common occurrence raises a series of often-asked questions:

  1. Will the creditor get a lien on the car and be able to repossess and sell the car to satisfy the debt?  ANSWERBecause the car is already subject to a lien and due to the vagaries of the laws relating to creditor protection in this area, it is very unlikely that the creditor can get a valid lien on the car.  In addition, because the car is already subject to a lien, it is extremely unlikely that there is any unencumbered value for the creditor with a judgment to latch onto. 
  2. Can the debtor’s social security payments be garnished?  ANSWER:  Although social security payments may be withheld by the Department of the Treasury to enforce legal obligations (a) to pay child support, alimony and restitution; (b) overdue federal  tax debts; and (c)  certain delinquent non-tax debts owed to other federal agencies under the Debt Collection Improvement Act. the judgment creditor in our case cannot do so. 
  3. Should social security benefits be placed in a separate account that contains only social security payments and no other cash assets of the account holder?  ANSWER: Social security benefits that are commingled with other cash assets of the debtor may become subject to collection by a judgment creditor even if such benefits are otherwise not recoverable by a judgment creditor. 

If a judgment has been entered against you and you have questions about what can happen next, and how to protect yourself, drop me a line at tzink@mccarthyfingar.com

ATTORNEY ADVERTISING — PAST RESULTS DO NOT GUARANTEE FUTURE OUTCOMES

We are a debt relief agency, we help people file for Bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy Code. This Blog is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney-client relationship between you and the Blog publisher. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

 

How Soon After I’ve Been Garnished Can I File Bankruptcy?

garnishmentWhen a creditor sues a debtor and get a judgment, the creditor (now judgment creditor) will try to collect from the debtor (now judgment debtor) by way of garnishment.

Garnishment is a legal procedure by which the judgment creditor is able to compel a party that owes money to the judgment debtor, to pay some or all of that money to the judgment creditor instead.

A common question when a judgment debtor is garnished is how to stop the garnishment?  Although there are statutory limits to how much of a judgment debtor’s wages can be garnished, the reduction in take-home pay caused by garnishment can put a dent in the judgment debtor’s ability to afford the basic necessities.

Bankruptcy is one way to stop garnishment.  Bankruptcy works by discharging the underlying obligation and enjoining any further effort to collect on the debt, by garnishment or by others methods.

Some judgment debtors believe that they must wait a certain minimum time after the start of garnishment before they can file for bankruptcy.   That’s a misconception —   there is no required waiting period for filing for bankruptcy after the start of garnishment.  There may be other considerations affecting the optimal time to file, but there is statutory waiting period associated with garnishment.

If you’re being garnished and would like to stop the process through the use of bankruptcy, drop us a line at tzink@mccarthyfingar.com.

ATTORNEY ADVERTISING — PAST RESULTS DO NOT GUARANTEE FUTURE OUTCOMES

We are a debt relief agency, we help people file for Bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy Code. This Blog is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney-client relationship between you and the Blog publisher. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

THE TOP 10 REASONS WHY SMALL BUSINESSES FAIL

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Business failure is often inevitable, as is the case of a declining market (think buggy whip manufacturing after the introduction of automobiles), but can be self-induced as well.  Here is a list of the top 10 reasons why small businesses fail:

  1. Not enough demand for the product or service offered.
  2. Out-of-control growth that sucks up all of the businesses cash.
  3. Poor accounting.
  4. No cash cushion to weather the inevitable swings in fortune.
  5. Operational inefficiencies.
  6. Dysfunctional management.
  7. Lack of succession planning.
  8. The aforementioned declining market.
  9. Catastrophic loss not covered by adequate insurance.
  10. The business had no solid legal footing.

If you are the owner of a small business on the verge of failing, give us a call.  We might be able to find solutions that get you back on track.

ATTORNEY ADVERTISING — PAST RESULTS DO NOT GUARANTEE FUTURE OUTCOMES

We are a debt relief agency, we help people file for Bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy Code. This Blog is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney-client relationship between you and the Blog publisher. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

 

 

 

TOP 5 REASONS WHY PEOPLE FILE BANKRUPTCY

bankruptcy

Bankruptcy ultimately comes down to more money going out than coming in.  That mismatch is caused by many things, but here is a list of the most common reasons why consumer debtors file for bankruptcy protection:

  1. Medical Expenses
  2. Job Loss
  3. Excessive Use of Credit
  4. Divorce/Separation
  5. Unexpected Expenses

If you are currently experiencing one or more of the above-listed items, you may want to consider consulting an attorney as to whether bankruptcy might be the solution for you.

ATTORNEY ADVERTISING — PAST RESULTS DO NOT GUARANTEE FUTURE OUTCOMES

We are a debt relief agency, we help people file for Bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy Code. This Blog is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney-client relationship between you and the Blog publisher. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.