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Target lawsuit question

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  • Target lawsuit question

    I guess where this is leading to is a bankruptcy filing. My case is a collection lawsuit filed by Target, but my only income is Social Security, which goes to an exclusive bank account, and which will soon be transferred to an express card. My plan is to file an Answer and to keep up the process on the possibility that Target will dismiss the case. The local superior court records show that most people don't file an Answer, but when someone files an Answer, the case does get dismissed.

    The local free legal clinic's advice is to not file an Answer and just write the law firm (Patenaude and Felix) to inform them of my collection-proof status. The hope is that Target will then dismiss the case. I'm not sure I want to roll over and play dead. This is a SoCal firm doing long-distance litigation in Northern California. I have nothing to lose at this point, so let them come over here on the day of trial. Even if they get a judgment, they can't collect.

    But of course, if my situation improves (I sincerely hope so), then I guess it's time to apply everything I've learned on this forum about the BK process.

  • #2
    "The local free legal clinic's advice is to not file an Answer and just write the law firm" Bad Advice!!!!!!! Not answering will result in an easy judgment for the creditor. File the answer ASAP. Let use know if the case is dismissed when you do.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by movinonnow View Post
      "The local free legal clinic's advice is to not file an Answer and just write the law firm" Bad Advice!!!!!!! Not answering will result in an easy judgment for the creditor. File the answer ASAP. Let use know if the case is dismissed when you do.
      I agree with movininnow. You must answer in court. Otherwise, they will win a default judgment against you. You may be 'collection-proof' now, but that may not always be so. A judgment may last from 7-10 years, depending on the state and district, and they can be renewed at least once, if not more times. You do not want one hanging over your head.
      "To go bravely forward is to invite a miracle."

      "Worry is the darkroom where negatives are formed."

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      • #4
        I totally agree that I should file an Answer. I've looked at the Superior Court website and found scads of Target cases, and most people don't respond and get a Judgment against them. There are a few who respond and mostly the cases get dismissed, though I'm not sure why.

        Anyway, I can send them a letter reiterating my collection-proof condition, and still file an Answer. I even asked the legal aid people to help me to properly fill out the fee waiver form. I'm also researching a couple of cases where debtors sued Target for robo-signing activities or whatever, so I can get ideas.

        Even if they get a judgment, they still will not be able to collect. And the legal aid folks said that I could fight the judgment with a claim of exemption. The attorney told me that the local sheriff doesn't take your personal effects, but they will levy on earnings and bank accounts (good luck to them on that). Gee, if they won't take my dying laptop and my dead-as-a-doornail desktop, what more could they possibly want? ;)

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