What do I do if I am being sued by a credit card company? 24 Answers as of July 02, 2013

I had a credit card. I have a $5,000 bill with them. I lost my job a year ago and haven't found work since. They have set a court date. Obviously I realize I should go, however I have no money, no assets. What's the worst that could happen? If they put a judgement against me and I have no money what can happen?

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Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
In Washington, wage garnishment & bank garnishment are options. As well as, judgment liens on real property.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 1/17/2012
Steven Harrell, Attorney at Law | Waymon Steven Harrell
They can obtain a judgment against you in court and have the judgment recorded on the General Execution Docket. It then constitutes a lien on any property you own, and the judgment would appear on your credit report. It would also allow the creditor to garnish your wages should you obtain a job in the future.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 1/6/2012
J.M. Cook, P.A. | J.M. Cook
Once a creditor obtains a judgment, they can use various collection methods to execute that judgment, including selling your real and personal property. The debt also accrues interest while it remains unpaid. If you filed for bankruptcy protection, the debts would be discharged.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 12/27/2011
Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson
Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson | Lynnmarie Johnson
Realistically nothing, until you get a job. They can also garnish your state income tax refunds, which aren't likely to be much unless you qualify for some kind of credit. But beware, make sure your name is not on anyone else's' accounts, because their account can be garnished for your bill! If you do get a job, get a payment plan set up immediately or they will start garnishing your wages!
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 12/27/2011
Alfred Law Firm
Alfred Law Firm | Janice Alfred
If you do not show up they will obtain a default judgment against you and can freeze your bank accounts (i.e., all bank accounts with your name on it included joint accounts). If you have other debt and have no income, you might also want to consider filing bankruptcy to get a clean start.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 12/27/2011
    Dan Wilson Bankruptcy
    Dan Wilson Bankruptcy | Dan Wilson
    If you do not reply to the lawsuit creditor will get a default judgment. Then creditor will try to garnish your bank account, garnish your wages, put a lien on your home, or all three. It sounds as though you are what we call "judgment proof." That means there is nothing to garnish. However, if creditor gets default judgment and sends you interrogatories you must respond or risk judge holding you in contempt. That is not good. You might be fined or be ordered into custody (jail.)
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 12/27/2011
    Heupel Law
    Heupel Law | Kevin Heupel
    When you get a job in the future, the creditor can garnish 25 percent of your wages. It may not seem like a big deal today, but it will become a huge issue in the future if you don't address the problem.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 12/27/2011
    AyerHoffman, LLP
    AyerHoffman, LLP | David C. Ayer
    Most likely, if you applied for the card, received it, used it, and failed to pay the bills, you will be found to be in breach of contract and the creditor will get a judgment against you. A judgment is good for many years (20 in Massachusetts) and is usually renewable. The creditor may wait until your finances change, it may attach property you own, or, more likely, it will seek to negotiate a payment plan with you. Given your situation, you should probably consult with a debt relief attorney to determine what options are available to you for resolving your debt. You may be a good candidate for a bankruptcy, depending on the amount of debt you have and what your assets are.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 12/27/2011
    Law Office of Michael Johnson
    Law Office of Michael Johnson | Michael Johnson
    You can file a bankruptcy and eliminate the debt along with other debt.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/2/2013
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    They can freeze any bank accounts, garnish a salary when you get a new job and put a judgment against you. This may not hurt now, but it can hurt you later when your life is in a more stable situation. You may want to file a bankruptcy now to get rid of it altogether. It is less expensive to file a bankruptcy then to pay that debt.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 12/27/2011
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    As long as you don't own a house, the worst that can happen is that they will try to levy your bank account. They have to know where you bank to do that. Judgements are dischargeable like any other kind of debt, so no worries about that. If they are claiming you committed fraud you should see a lawyer because that would be a non-dischargeable debt.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/27/2011
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis | Todd Mannis
    Well, they can levy your checking account.it might not have anything in it, but it sure makes it a pain in the behind knowing that if you deposit money into your account, it will go right to them. They could put a lien against other property that you own, such as a house or a car. Probably not likely with a car, and I don't know if you own your home, but that lien will attach to any property you acquire later as well. So while they might not be able to get anything right now, it is still a major pain.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/22/2011
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    You have no money now but in the future the judgment, which will have interest and attorneys' fees added, allows the creditor to garnish your wages, take money from bank accounts, put a lien on real property you might have in the future and send you a notice to attend a court date to be questioned about your assets and income and you can be arrested if you don't show up. Also, the judgment in your credit report will reduce your credit score for many years even more and the judgment is initially good for 10 years and can be renewed for the rest of your life and will increase by 10% per year. While you are right that going to court now will probably do you no good since you will probably lose the case anyway, you might have to file a bankruptcy case at some point to clear up your debts. However, sometimes the creditor does not show up and the case is dismissed. If it is only $5,000 then bankruptcy is probably not the best option because of the relatively small amount of the debt and a payments plan or a negotiated settlement of the judgment might be a better option now (before the judgment is entered) or in the future after the judgment is entered.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/22/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    See a lawyer. Let me stress that. See a lawyer. If you lose, and you probably will, they will get a judgment. Creditors can then take your car and bank account and when you return to work, they can attach your wages. Generally a lawyer can help make sure you avoid those bad effects. Don't wait any longer.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 12/22/2011
    Law offices of John P. Brooke | John Brooke
    The worst that can happen is they get a judgment against you. They can freeze your bank account, varnish any wages that you receive and in some cases a creditor may be able to have your vehicle taken. Vehicle levy is not very common though and a lot of sheriff's won't even do it anymore. It will also be a lien on any real property that you own.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 12/22/2011
    The Stockman Law Office | Mary Stockman Esq.
    File an answer. Any bankruptcy attorney can help you do that.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 12/22/2011
    Gregory J. Wald, Attorney at Law
    Gregory J. Wald, Attorney at Law | Gregory J. Wald
    You can't get blood from a turnip. However, keep in mind that if they obtain a judgment against you, their next step may be to serve you with a form that calls for you to answer questions about your income and assets. You must complete this form and return it to their attorneys. If you don't, they may ask the court to hold you in contempt. In that case, a bench warrant could be issued for your arrest. I'm not trying to scare you. There is no imprisonment for debt in Minnesota. Its only a problem if you don't cooperate in terms of disclosing your income and property when asked.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 12/22/2011
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    There are several ways a judgment creditor can enforce its judgment. Some typical ways include wage garnishment and levies on bank accounts. If a creditor has a judgment it may be worthwhile to try to make a payment arrangement. Also, there are exemptions that can be claimed to prevent all of your assets being seized. An attorney can help you file for exemptions. You could also consider consulting with an attorney regarding bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/22/2011
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    You need to go to court. If you lose, you might have to consider a bankruptcy. If not, you will need to make arrangements with the creditors.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/22/2011
    Colorado Legal Solutions
    Colorado Legal Solutions | Stephen Harkess
    If you have no money and no assets then you may be judgement proof. This means that there is no way for the creditor to collect from you. However, once they have the judgement, it will be good for several years and they will come looking to garnish your wages or bank accounts if you ever have an income again.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 12/22/2011
    Stuart Jon Bierman  Attorney at Law
    Stuart Jon Bierman Attorney at Law | Stuart Jon Bierman
    Maybe nothing will happen unless something changes and in the future you have a job or assets. They could put a wage garnishment on your paycheck when you return to work or seize whatever money you have in your bank account currently or in the future. The judgment might also have a negative effect on your credit rating but then again, it might already be very low. Good luck to you, and you should keep in mind that bankruptcy might help you in the future by erasing this debt and any other debt you have.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 12/22/2011
    Law Office of Stephen P. Dempsey
    Law Office of Stephen P. Dempsey | Stephen P. Dempsey
    Bascially you are judgment proof. If you dont go to court the same result will occur. You can try to go to court and work out a settlement but if you have no funds there may be no point in even appearing unless you have a valid defense against the claim.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 12/22/2011
    The Smalley Law Firm, LLC | Cary Smalley
    They can obtain a judgment against you and garnish any money you may have in any bank accounts and can garnish your wages once you are employed again.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 12/22/2011
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