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Default Judgments: You May Find Yourself High & Dry at the Checkout Counter

  • Sep 9 2019

When you first fell into debt, you may never have considered that you would be facing a collection lawsuit, opening your front door to a process server delivering a summons and complaint—and you may never have even heard the term default judgment before–or been stuck at the checkout counter without a way to settle up. And while building financial issues and debt are serious, once a creditor is taking legal action, you must sit up and take notice, giving the matter attention with the assistance of a skilled attorney from a firm like Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC.

It is true that money management is often an issue and the downfall of many, if you are poised on the edge of filing for bankruptcy now, most likely that is due to circumstances beyond your control. Finances and potential devastation are usually caused by a very serious illness resulting in hospitalization, long recoveries, treatments, and prescription drugs; or you could have been in a car crash or a sustained a motorcycle accident injury resulting in exorbitant medical bills, with healing or damage that could be long-term, or even permanent.

Creditors are not making money though when busy doling out sympathy, and while they may give you some breathing room, it will not last, and you will still owe the debt. If delinquencies continue, in many cases, a credit card corporation will charge off your account after three or four months and often sell your account (along with many others) to a debt collection agency. There is the chance of the creditor suing you instead though, or the debt collection agency may take it upon themselves to file a lawsuit against you. Either way, the critical point in this process arrives when you either do – or do not – answer the lawsuit.

Most people do not answer, leaving the default judgment to be granted almost automatically. Although you may feel like you have nothing left to lose financially, big headaches are headed your way if you have anything a paycheck or any property. If you have a job, generally that is where the creditor will strike first, gaining permission from the court to take a portion of your paycheck every month through wage garnishing. If that type of collection agency activity does not work for them, they may send law enforcement to seize your property, selling it off at public auction. If that is not a profitable venture, they can also freeze your checking or financial accounts until the debt is paid, causing serious issues with your ability to live daily. This means you can’t make that payment at the grocery store, checks you have written cannot go through, and any deposits made into your account could go straight to the creditor.

If you have just found out you are being sued, do everything possible to see that a reply is filed. If a default judgment has already been lodged against you, consult with Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC about having it dismissed through a motion to vacate. There is also still a very good chance you could negotiate with the creditor and look forward to paying off the debt at a very discounted rate.

We can help you explore your options if you are being sued or a judgment has been granted against you. Our attorneys have decades of experience in serving clients with similar financial situations. Let us review your case and discuss what would work best for you. We are here to help! Call Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC today for a free consultation at (855) 709-5788 or email us at info@debtorprotectors.com.

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Posted in: Judgments