Lawsuits and Garnishments
Being sued is something you never thought you'd have to deal with.
You want to pay your bills. But lately it seems that there's always too much month left at the end of the money. And the reasons why people can't pay their bills usually aren't their fault.
What Causes 86% of All Bankruptcy Cases?
Health Issues, Job Loss, & Divorce
Health issues, job loss or job change, separation and divorce, and wages that simply do not keep up with the ever-spiraling cost of living are just some of the reasons why so many honest, hard-working individuals and families in Maryland and Washington, D.C. find themselves facing a lawsuit or garnishment.
And, contrary to what the credit industry tells you, none of these things has anything to do with financial irresponsibility, lack of hard work, or spending too much on Starbucks. They are simply bad things that sometimes happen to good people. But with the way the banks have things set up, once you fall behind, they jack up your interest rate, cut your line of credit, and make it even harder -- or impossible -- for you to ever catch up. Then the calls and letters start. They're relentless. You try to work things out, but they want more money than you can afford.
And then suddenly you're staring down the barrel at a lawsuit.
The whole way you're treated makes you feel like a criminal. The "process server" knocks at your door and hands you the summons and lawsuit. The Court papers don't make a lot of sense -- they're confusing and written in legalese. And don't they know that if you had the money to hire a lawyer, you would have paid them? You tried calling to work something out, but they wouldn't even let you talk to the lawyer, and they asked for ridiculous payments that you just don't have.
So what do you do?
You have five options:
You can pay everything that they're asking for -- the principal, interest, court fees, attorney's fees, other fees...everything. I know you can't afford it or you wouldn't be reading this, but it is an option.
You can negotiate an amount to pay. Whatever you both agree to in terms of amount, how long you have to pay, interest, etc. is what you have to do. While they sometimes do, be aware that the other side has no legal obligation to work with you or agree to a payment plan you can afford.
You can go to Court and there is a trial to determine whether or not you owe the money. We handle cases like this all the time, because most people don't know how to try a case. After all, I couldn't just start doing your job well -- you've got a lot more experience at it than I do. And you can't do my job well: trying a case in Court. If you don't understand depositions, interrogatories, requests for admissions, evidentiary rules, and the Rules of Civil Procedure, you're much better off hiring a lawyer.
Do nothing. Sadly, this is the option that most people choose. They are afraid, or don't know what to do, or don't have money to do things...so they do nothing. They don't file an Answer or Notice of Intention to Defend to the Complaint, and don't show up in Court on the day of the trial. They do nothing. And doing nothing is the same thing as agreeing that you owe the money, agreeing to have your wages garnished, agreeing to have your bank account attached, and agreeing to have a lien placed on your home. Because once the party suing you gets a judgment by default, it can do all of these things. The other name for a "judgment by default" is...a "judgment". And once a judgment becomes final, it's difficult or impossible to undo it. Unless you take advantage of Option 5.
You can file for bankruptcy. This is the option you don't want to face, but often is the simplest, surest, and cheapest way to deal with a lawsuit. Filing for bankruptcy immediately stays, or stops, the lawsuit, even the day before the trial. It stops garnishments, attachments, levies, foreclosures, and repossessions.
The secret is that there is a real way — a legal, honorable way — to get out from under the crushing weight of lawsuits and garnishments. For good.
The solution for lots of people in this situation is bankruptcy. Stop the lawsuits, stop the garnishment, stop the constant phone calls and letters, wipe out the credit cards, loans, and medical debts, and get a fresh start.
But everyone keeps telling you bankruptcy is the worst thing you could do.
NOT TRUE! In fact, bankruptcy gives you the chance to end your bill problems and rebuild your life once and for all. Bankruptcy immediately stays, or stops, lawsuits and garnishments, wipes out credit card and medical debt, and stops harassing collection calls and letters at home and at work. In many cases, you can even get rid of tax debt!
Many people don’t realize that Chapter 7, Chapter 11 or Chapter 13 may be a way to get a fresh financial start. But due to an incredible amount of false information, this may sound frightening. In fact, a lot of people walk around thinking that there’s no help for them, and no way out.
Now I'm a bankruptcy attorney. I've helped people with their debt problems for almost 40 years. I write, I lecture, and I teach bankruptcy law. But I do things a little differently than some bankruptcy attorneys.
I know that bankruptcy isn’t the answer to every problem, which is why I’ll never try to shoehorn you into a bankruptcy filing unless it’s absolutely the right solution for you.
The bottom line is this: my job is to take care of my clients, to make sure that they get what they need, not what I need.
If a Chapter 7, Chapter 11, or Chapter 13 is right for you, I can help you stop lawsuits and garnishments, get a fresh start, and get your personal finances back on track. And if bankruptcy isn't the best option for you, I'll tell you that as well. You'll get an honest opinion from an attorney who will fight for you.
You owe it to yourself—and to your family and loved ones — to get the facts.
The bottom line is this: Americans are in more debt now than ever before. And lawsuits and garnishments can feel like an anchor around your neck. It's easy for an honest, hard-working person to fall into a downward spiral. You need help, and that's why I'm here.
Sit back and read through this site. Learn what your rights are. Get the facts, all at no cost. Then, when you're ready to end your bill problems and jump start your good credit, call me at 301.924.4400. Email me. Set up a confidential, no-obligation case review. Let us help.