Forum Rules (Everyone Must Read!!!) (updated: 04/28/2015)

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Received creditor lawsuit notice late, need time to file chapter 7

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  • Received creditor lawsuit notice late, need time to file chapter 7

    I live in PA. Long story short, I've been in financial trouble for a while now and had been thinking of filing chapter 7 if needed. Well, at the beginning of this month my mother calls me and says that she was served a notice from a collection agency working for Discover at her house (I haven't lived there for 5+ years). She told me the person serving the notice said that I wasn't being sued, it was just a notice to contact the debt collector or I'd be sued. Figured it was another scare tactic and brushed it off for the time being. Well when I stopped by her house this week, it sure looks like a notice that I'm being sued to me, with a court case number and court date for May 31st in the morning. I've definitely decided to file for chapter 7 at this point, but I doubt I'd be able to do it by the court date, especially with a holiday weekend. I'm self employed and in PA they can't garnish wages anyway. I am concerned about a judgment and having my bank account frozen however, because I'm living off of every penny in the account and need a functioning account to be able to do business with clients. I essentially need to stall a judgment long enough to be able to file BK. I'm a little confused about the timeline in PA though. So will a judgment be issued at the court date on the 31st if I don't respond or show up? and if so, does the creditor get permission to levy my bank accounts then, or a later time? If I do nothing and a judgment is issued against me, about how long would I have until I'd have to worry about a bank account being frozen by a creditor? Should I answer the complaint and will this buy me time before a judgement is issued? Would I have to go to court at all just to buy time, or would answering be enough to buy me some time? I don't have money for a lawyer so will be doing this myself. I have the NOLO guide but haven't had more than a few hours to look into much. I feel pretty confident that I can do it pro se, I just haven't had much time and time is short to find out how to try and fend off a judgment and account freeze to give me the time I need for BK.

    Also, I unfortunately use Wells Fargo as my bank, and have 2 cards with them as well, one I stopped making payments on and one that is current. I do have an account with Alliant Credit Union (no PA branches) too but also a credit card with them as well that's current. I've read Wells Fargo's stance on freezes as soon as you file for BK so know that I need to change banks, at least for a while. I was thinking of using TD bank as I've never had business with them before. If a judgment is issued against me before I can file BK, what are the odds that the creditor would be able to find and freeze a new TD bank account in PA? Also, since I'm self-employed and only my earnings are deposited, is that considered wages that they couldn't touch? Also, I assume Alliant would freeze and take any funds in my accounts there as soon as I file since I'd have to include my card with them even though it's current correct?

    Sorry if I've rambled. It's a stressful situation made much worse by an apparent time crunch to sort it out. Thanks for any help in advance.

  • #2
    Go open an account with a local credit union. Since they are not national banks, they are much harder to find for the creditor

    Next. Get your employer to stop making automatic deposits. Get checks. Yeah, it's slower...but you have the option to cash them or deposit

    Make yourself as collection proof as you can, and then get reading


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