Can a collector garnish my wages for a Toyota lease I terminated a year ago? How? 16 Answers as of August 31, 2015

One and a half years ago when injured and unemployed had to turn back in leased vehicle. Tried to work with Toyota, asked for help, no one helped, had paid almost $18,000 toward the lease. Now on credit report and received intimidating phone call from collections saying wage of wife will be garnished if don't pay $5,000 in two days. Can they do this?

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A Fresh Start
A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
Is there a court judgment against you and your spouse? Because without a court judgment, no creditor is going to be able to do anything. People are sued everyday for vehicle deficiencies, and the fact that you turned in the vehicle voluntarily does not get you any points when it comes to collecting.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 8/31/2015
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
Yes, if it gets a judgment against you for the money it lost on the lease.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 8/28/2015
Behren Law Firm
Behren Law Firm | Scott Behren
NO in fact, if you speak with me further, we could probably sue them for violation of laws for such conduct.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 8/28/2015
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
IF THEY are threatening you then you should come see us to file a harassment claim,, these claims you will get money damages and they will pay your legal fee.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 8/28/2015
Law Office of Michael Johnson
Law Office of Michael Johnson | Michael Johnson
Yes if they have a judgement.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 8/28/2015
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis | Todd Mannis
    They can't do it yet, and not for some time, because to do so, they'd have to first file a lawsuit against you and then receive a judgment in their favor. From what you've said, they haven't done that yet. However, yet is the key word. They certainly may at some time, they do it all the time - they're called deficiency judgments. At some point, I'd imagine they will sue you. But two days? That's just an attempt to intimidate you. No wage garnishment without lawsuit/judgment.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/28/2015
    Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
    In order to garnish your wife's wages, Toyota has to have a judgment against your wife. Unless they have a judgment, garnishment is an empty threat (and an illegal one under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act).
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 8/27/2015
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    Yes, if they have a judgement. You should see a lawyer. Look for one at nacba.org.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/27/2015
    Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
    They are probably trying to intimidate you. In most of the English-speaking world, a creditor cannot do a garnishment against you unless they already have a judgment. If they had sued you, you certainly ought to know about it. However some thoroughgoing crooks will file a lawsuit and destroy the copies that are supposed to go to you. Therefore you probably should check with the clerk of court in your district or county to see if some lawsuit was filed of which you did not previously know. You can then take court action to get these people off your back. You also might want to consult a lawyer who is familiar with the federal truth in lending act. This law might also be able to protect you and punish the collectors.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 8/27/2015
    Patrick W. Currin, Attorney at Law | Patrick Currin
    Yes, even though they have the car it is typical fo there to be a deficiency on repos. They can garnish your wages, but only after obtaining a judgment on the debt.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/27/2015
    The Orantes Law Firm
    The Orantes Law Firm | Giovanni Orantes
    It is possible that they can garnish your wife's wages in two days if the creditor already has a judgment for the defaulted lease and has started the garnishment process. It is not possible to eliminate your remaining obligations under a lease by simply returning the vehicle. Most likely, your wife and her employer already would have received a copy of the garnishment documents if that were possible. However, you should consult an attorney regarding your options. It is likely that you may need to file for bankruptcy relief.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/27/2015
    Eranthe Law Firm
    Eranthe Law Firm | Cate Eranthe
    Only if there is a judgment against you both. Wages can be garnished if there is a valid judgment; same with bank account levies. Check your local superior court to see if there was some lawsuit that resulted in a judgment. If there is no judgment then this is just a threat or intimidation tactic. I'd record these telephone calls and take them to a knowledgeable local consumer rights attorney if they continue. If there is a judgment bring that with you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/27/2015
    Saedi Law Group
    Saedi Law Group | Lorena Saedi
    The only way a creditor like this could garnish your wages is if they actually had a judgment. You would have to be served with a lawsuit and either default or lose the case in order for a judgment to be entered. However, many times creditors claim to serve consumers and in fact they never did. As a result a judgment is entered and you are not aware of it. If you did not complete a lease agreement however they can attempt to collect on the balance owed on the lease. I would suggest that you contact a bankruptcy attorney to review your case.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/27/2015
    Edelman, Combs, Latturner & Goodwin, LLC | Daniel A. Edelman
    Not without getting a judgment first. Have a consumer lawyer examine the documents, as there are often defenses to deficiency claims. The threat violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (1k damages plus attorney's fees).
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/27/2015
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    Is your wife on the lease?
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/27/2015
    Marc S. Stern
    Marc S. Stern | Marc S. Stern
    Eventually they can garnish if they sue and get a judgment. From what you report it is impossible to see where in the process you are. If they made that threat and there is no judgment, this is a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and you can recover punitive damages. You need to see an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/27/2015
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