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Civil Collections

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  • Civil Collections

    Discover and Target have both filed lawsuits against me in the past several days. I’ve never been in this situation and don’t know what to expect or what to do. I found out from checking the state court records regularly.

    I have spoken with 3 attorneys and I’m not able to file Chapter 7 until Nov 2020 because of a sales transfer of sorts. My husband and I sold a home we owned together in Nov 2016. With the money we made from the sale of the house we put a down payment on our new house. The new house is only in my husbands name. I was not included because I had debt and no income. The house we have has more equity than would be covered. I’m going to talk with another attorney to get an opinion next week. We don’t want to lose our new home and must keep it protected.

    One of the attorneys I spoke to in Feb of this year said to wait to get garnished (I have a part time job now). There isn’t anything else in my name they can take. She said that was the best way to save the house. Another attorney recommended filing Chapter 13 with my husband to save the house. We decided against that because we only currently make just enough to cover our living expenses and 3-5 years would be near impossible. Most of the debt is in my name. Credit cards and some medical. About 25k before all the late fees.

    I’d like to know what to expect with the civil suit. Who has dealt with one without an attorney?

  • #2
    My credit cards sued me. I did nothing about it. let them take part o your pay its not a huge number. Keep your tax refund and all money out of a bank account because they will wipe that out and if your car is worth more then four grand they may take that

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    • #3
      All I can think of is to see another attorney. My husband and I were both had lawsuits against us when we stopped paying our credit cards. We were able to do a Chapter 13 (the first attorney we say said we wouldn't be able to and wanted us to make settlements with the credit card companies).

      We went to court, the process takes a while we were able to (with help of attorney's advice) respond the the lawsuit at the last minute (response needed in 30 days you respond on day 30) when it went to court we answered in a such a way we got more time.

      The credit card companies will offer a settlement of a lesser amount. I don't know how much you owe and if a settlement or a different payment plan would work in your situation.

      We we had lawsuits we got solicitations from a few attorneys maybe those who specialize it that area could help. The credit card attorneys in general were very "nice" which made me suspicious, but I think at some point they want to get some money back instead of no money.

      If you settle for a lower amount there are tax issues. If I understand it right (and I am not an expert) the amount that you no longer owe is added to your income so it puts you in a higher tax bracket.



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      • #4
        My husband and I had a couple of lawsuits filed against us also. But we filed an Asset CH7 case, All of our real assets were tied up in Retirement funds, Life estates, or vehicles too old. And there was not the income between the two of us to fund a CH13, which is what we initially tried for.

        Do NOT ever ignore a courts summons. When you have to go to court, and are asked if you owe the debt, reply "I neither admit or deny this debt." Then make them provide the paperwork proof that you owe it, We did this without an attorney, but we had the NOLO Chapter 7 book as a reference.

        We were able to forestall these suits, because the next step is ARBITRATION. In our county, that happens only once a month, When this was scheduled, we were going to be out of town--long planned and couldn't be rescheduled. So Arbitration was set for the month after that. By that time, we had our 'duck in a row' and our worthless attorney in gear too and filed.

        I understand that you have filing problems, but I agree with the other posters who advise to go talk to several more attorneys. There may be some way to separate your name from the house deal.

        BTW, we had done everything wrong, too. We had 'Preferential Payments' as well as a sold mortgage, etc., that our attorney DID NOT EDUCATE US ABOUT before we did them. So we ended up a mess. But it WILL work out. I promise.
        "To go bravely forward is to invite a miracle."

        "Worry is the darkroom where negatives are formed."

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        • #5
          I was sued by a junk debt buyer. This is what made me decide to file a Chapter 7. What I found was as soon as I filed a "Suggestion of Bankruptcy" providing the case # they immediately dismissed their case without prejudice.

          I consider that if I were crafty and wanting to try my luck I could have just withdrew my bankruptcy case and there was a chance they might not have refiled. I ultimately didn't do that though. I also have significant tax debt and am trying to avoid a federal tax lien. I'm also NOT advising you to do this. It was just and idea I considered.

          After getting sued I got curious and read through lots of cases in my county court. I found some where they garnished wages. On average though I noticed it wasn't until about 1-2 years after filing the case until they were actually able to garnish anything. Most seemed to be unsuccessful. Also if they weren't able to serve the person this often resulted in the case being dismissed. I'm in Florida though and it can vary depending on exact circumstances.

          Also a lot of cases ended in a stipulation where both parties agreed to make payments. In some cases the creditor accepted $10 a month but those were rare. Usually they wanted $100 but sometimes they would take $50. So you may be able to get a settlement with them. The problem is though I believe this counts as like a judgment against you and will show on your credit? Also if you fail to make a payment they just go back to the court and get a judgment anyway.

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