Struggling with Default Judgments During a Pandemic
With millions in the US being diagnosed with coronavirus—and so many struggling and even dying—it seems incredibly unfair that financial stress should so often be the primary worry today. As you now probably realize though, a pandemic brings with it a parallel path of hardship economically. Along with enormous (and valid) worries about catching COVID-19, you may have lost your job or had your hours cut significantly, leaving you to join millions of US consumers experiencing a shock to the system. And while a large percentage of jobs have made a comeback in areas like restaurants and retail, recent news cites data showing that as of July, only 9.2 million jobs have been regained.
This means that while some may be back to work as Americans return to eating out and shopping, millions are left trying to pick up the pieces after enduring lockdowns, shutdowns—and for far too many, suffering from the coronavirus too. With bills left unpaid and defaults skyrocketing, more collections lawsuits than ever are expected to be filed. Bankruptcy courts are expected to be clogged like never before too. Jobs that must take place in offices are making a much slower comeback, along with positions at hotels, movie theaters, and other industries that have been hit very hard.
You may be considering filing for bankruptcy whether you are being sued or not, but be aware that even at the last hour with the help of a skilled attorney you could be able to negotiate a lump-sum payment to a creditor; in fact, you could see your debt satisfied for pennies on the dollar. Although such action requires cash on hand if you can pay off debt quickly and for much less, it may even be worth it to take a small loan from a family member, if possible.
Without action in terms of a reply to the collections lawsuit or presence in court, the judge will most likely grant a default judgment almost automatically—and if you have anything to lose at all, your finances could suddenly become even trickier. If you have a job, the plaintiff (a credit card company, for example) could garnish up to 25 percent of your disposable income. If you have a checking account, the creditor could coordinate with your bank to have it frozen until the debt is satisfied. Even worse, law enforcement could seize any valuable property you own and sell it off at private auction.
Contact Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC now. Let us review your case and discuss what would work best for you. We are here to help! Our attorneys have decades of experience in serving clients as they navigate through challenging financial situations, to include collection lawsuits, default judgments, and more.
Posted in: Judgments