What do I do if I have been summoned for a default judgement? 22 Answers as of August 25, 2011

I have a default judgment against me (I am the only defendant) for a Capital One credit card. My husband is our only source of income, as I don't work. We have a joint bank account, own a house together, and my SUV is in both of our names. My questions are as follows: How should I respond to the default judgment? It is just requesting documents on our personal property, monies, etc. and I have 45 days to respond. Do you think they will put a lien on anything? If so, what? And can bankruptcy take care of that at a later time? (Bankruptcy is not possible right now.) I owe the debt; I didn't respond to the summons because I wasn't properly served. I already sought legal advice on that issue, but the probono attorney I spoke with said it's too much hassle to prove it.

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Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
you need to answer the complaint with your defenses. they can put a lien on your property, garnish wages and bank accounts (in my state anyway). if you file bk later, the jmt will likely be discharged.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/25/2011
Ray Fisher Law Offices
Ray Fisher Law Offices | Ray Fisher
No response is called for. It is just requesting documents on our personal property, monies, etc. and I have 45 days to respond. Do you think they will put a lien on anything? No. If they have a judgment they can abstract it and file it in the deed records to put a lien on real estate. They cannot put a lien on personal property. If so, what? See above And can bankruptcy take care of that at a later time? Yes.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 7/20/2011
Law Office of Maureen O' Malley
Law Office of Maureen O' Malley | Maureen O'Malley
Sorry the pro bono attorney didn't want to take the time. The summons is to show that you got notice. You might bring up the improper service then, if the judge will hear it. They'll ask you to fill out a Homestead Deed to save items from being sold. In VA you're allowed $6,000 equity in a car, $5,000 equity in your home (or any other property if there's no equity there), $5,000 in your furniture, and your wedding and engagement rings. IRAs, 401(k)s, etc. are also safe. Keep whatever you fill out. Most likely they'll freeze your checking account, even though it's joint, so you might want to keep money out of there. Yes, you can file bankruptcy later, but sooner is better to keep them from getting money or property.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 7/19/2011
Ariano & Reppucci
Ariano & Reppucci | Chris Ariano
A default judgement means that someone has filed suit against you and, in absence of a response on your part, the court has ruled in favor of the creditor. Obtaining a judgement is the first step a creditor must take to recovering the debt. Depending on your income source and other assets, your paychecks may be at risk of garnishment or your bank account at risk of a levy. Filing bankruptcy can eliminate most debts and stop any ongoing garnishments or levies.
Answer Applies to: Arizona
Replied: 7/19/2011
Ashman Law Office
Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
If they have a judgment, you already lost and they have a lien on everything. They can immediately seize your assets, your paycheck and your bank account. You have a legal emergency that requires a lawyer today. Delaying a bankruptcy, if you qualify, could result in loss of property and assets. And if you do have a defense as to service and are now aware of the case, a delay in filing defenses, appeals and objections may waive those rights. So again, you need a lawyer now.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 7/19/2011
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    A default judgment is when you didn't answer the complaint. Once there is a judgment by default the creditor can use all collection mechanisms available under state law. Some of the actions are wage garnishment, levy on bank accounts, filing a lien on your property and having the right to call you in to court pursuant to an order of examination asking about all your assets. A judgment like this can be discharged in bankruptcy. Whether you should file bankruptcy requires a consultation with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Rosenberg & Press, LLC
    Rosenberg & Press, LLC | Christopher D. Hite
    If its a credit card, you can discharge the debt in bankruptcy. After the creditor receives judgment, they make attempt to satisfy the judgment by a property execution against a bank account or house.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis | Todd Mannis
    Why is BK not an option right now? A creditor with a judgment can and will garnish wages, lien the house etc and they can do if quickly.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Eric J. Benzer, Attorney at Law
    Eric J. Benzer, Attorney at Law | Eric Benzer
    Show up and defend yourself.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 7/18/2011
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    Yes, they will put a lien on the house. I would not fool around with that. Sounds like you were served with an order to appear and disclose your assets. They could levy the bank account. This is a community property state. See a bankruptcy attorney. Chapter 13 is not all that bad.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/18/2011
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson | Lynnmarie Johnson
    The creditor can garnish any money in your joint account, or can seek to have a lien put on property or if you have equity in something, seek to be allowed to take it and sell it. Usually they are most likely to garnish your joint accounts, including any you have with anyone else besides your husband, like your kids or parents.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc.
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc. | David VanDyke
    I think maybe you are being summoned on a Order for Examination or OEX?? If this is what it is they want you to come to court and tell them what assets you have so they can make arrangements to seize them. A bankruptcy at this time would stop all this. Otherwise you need to attend.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Engberg Law Office
    Engberg Law Office | Harry A. Engberg
    You need to take your name off of the bank account so they can not levy on it for your debt. The judgment will attach a lien on the house. The SUV is safe as long as there is a lien on it from a loan. If the car is paid off the sheriff can levy on the car for your interest. The 45 days makes it sound like they are doing discovery to find out where your property is located so they can levy on it. This discovery is done after the judgment has been taken.
    Answer Applies to: South Dakota
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Ursula G. Barrios Law
    Ursula G. Barrios Law | Guillermo Machado
    You can file Bankruptcy and eliminate that judgment.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/18/2011
    Financial Relief Law Center
    Financial Relief Law Center | Mark Alonso
    Since they have a default judgment, they are looking for your assets that you have so they can attempt to enforce the judgment. Methods of enforcing the judgment include wage garnishment, bank account restrain and property lien. If you don't have wages, as you say, then that is probably why they are looking for your additional assets, because wages are easier to track down than other items like a bank account or property that you have. Yes, they can place a lien against property or bank account that has your name on it. Bankruptcy would have the effect of resolving these issues once filed. I would recommend that you speak to a bankruptcy attorney and obtain some information about pre-bankruptcy planning and whether or not you could qualify for a chapter 7.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Colorado Legal Solutions
    Colorado Legal Solutions | Stephen Harkess
    You have to answer the interogatories and the creditor will try to use informaiton they receive to figure out how to garnish pay or bank accounts or obtain a lien on property. A bankruptcy filing will put a stop to the process at whatever point it has reached. If they are successful in garnishing or seizing something before you file, however, a bankruptcy filing will usually not get the property returned to you.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/18/2011
    Law Office of Eric Ridley
    Law Office of Eric Ridley | Eric Ridley
    If you have a default taken, the document calling you into court is likely for a Judgment Debtor Examination. You are required to appear and bring all the requested information, or a warrant can be issued for your arrest. Bankruptcy can eliminate some judgments, depending on the circumstances. You should talk to an experienced bankruptcy and civil attorney. I offer free phone consultations at 805-244-5291.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/18/2011
    Theodore N. Stapleton, PC
    Theodore N. Stapleton, PC | Theodore N. Stapleton
    I'm not sure I understand the pro bono attorney's statement that its too much of a hassle to challenge service. I am happy to talk to you about your opotions. please call to schedule a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/18/2011
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