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Court Judgments

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Advice from Trusted Las Vegas Attorney Dorothy Bunce of A Fresh Start Law.

Common reactions to learning about a Court judgment include:

  • You didn’t know about the lawsuit.
  • The creditor is from a collection company, and you don’t know if they have any legal right to sue you.
  • You don’t believe you owe this debt.
  • You thought defending yourself in Court wouldn’t help you.

Unfortunately, none of these reactions is likely to change the situation. Once a Court enters a judgment, getting them to change their decision is impractical, if not impossible. After discovering a Court Judgment, you may feel that you have no options and that this situation will destroy your life.

Due to the high cost, a Fresh Start Law does not represent clients in Court on debt collection cases. However, we have several strategies to solve a Court judgment inexpensively.

If you have a court judgment, A Fresh Start Law can provide the following strategies to solve this problem: 

  • Paid Consultation: Meet with our experienced debt attorney – Dorothy Bunce – to determine how the court judgment happened and explore your legal rights. Attorney Dorothy will describe what you (or a litigation attorney) can do and what this service might cost. The fee involved is to compensate the attorney for providing you with unbiased and objective advice. In addition, this advice may explain ways to protect your assets and minimize the harm of the court judgment.
  • Debt settlement: Attorney Dorothy and the team at A Fresh Start Law have years of experience settling court judgments. Most non-attorney-run debt management companies (the kind you find advertising by email or on the radio) will not help you with a court judgment. Settling a lawsuit when a law firm represents the creditor often requires leverage from another attorney. Debt settlement representation, like any legal matter, does not come with a guarantee. However, the cost to retain A Fresh Start Law to settle your court judgment is modest. We base the remaining legal fee on how much we save you.
  • Bankruptcy. Bankruptcy can eliminate most Court judgments and even remove a judgment lien affecting the title to your home. Attorney Dorothy filed her first Bankruptcy case in 1979. She and the team at A Fresh Start Law understand both the advantages and disadvantages of using Bankruptcy process to eliminate court judgments and other debts.

Due to the high cost, a Fresh Start Law does not represent clients in debt collection cases. However, we have several strategies to solve a Court judgment inexpensively.

What Can a Court judgment Do?

Lawyers like to say that a court judgment is a “fishing license.” A creditor with a court judgment can use the court system to investigate (or fish for) your assets. For example, these creditors can force you to appear at their attorney’s office with your pay and bank records. Then, through a “debtor’s examination,” the attorney can grill you under oath for answers about every detail of your financial life.

While criminals have a 5th Amendment right to refuse to answer questions that might incriminate themselves, you don’t have this right as a civil debtor. You can even go to jail for refusing to attend one of these interrogations. You are required to answer all these questions truthfully. Creditors can also get all kinds of other personal information about you through investigation services. At this point, what they do next will help the creditor while inflicting financial and emotional harm on you.

A court judgment usually comes with four horrible results.

  1. Wage garnishment: With a court judgment, the creditor can instantly obtain a writ to force your employer to garnish your wages. Your employer has NO CHOICE but to garnish you. Not paying a garnishment makes the employer responsible for paying this debt. The wage garnishment lasts for 6 weeks. After that, the creditor only has to return with a two-page pre-printed form which the court clerk (not the judge) issues to get the garnishment renewed. You might never get a break when the garnishment order expires because it is so quick and easy for the creditor to get another writ to start the process over again. An aggressive creditor may get another garnishment order BEFORE the previous order expires. While there are caps on how much the garnishment can take from your paycheck, any amount can devastate your finances. The money you lose through garnishment goes to pay court expenses and legal fees first. Next, the garnishment pays interest owed on the debt. With each new writ, court costs and attorney fees keep adding to the debt. Seeing garnishments last for months or even years before any payment goes toward paying down anything on the debt is routine. The fees are often so high you may feel like you will never get this debt paid. Additionally, other obligations may pile up behind the first one because you probably won’t have enough to pay your other bills.
  2. Bank account attachment: With a judgment, the creditor can instantly force your bank to turn over all money in your checking or savings accounts. If you are on your mother’s bank account, the creditor can freeze this bank account. Don’t assume that the writ will only do this once. Nothing prevents the creditor from returning to the Court and getting another writ. If you change banks, the creditor may find out where your new account is and can continue taking your money.
  3. Credit damage: A court judgment will lower your credit score. Under the part of your report called “public records,” all actual or potential creditors will see the court judgment on your credit report. It will be a red flag warning them NOT to do business with you.
  4. Publicity: Creditors are not the only ones who can view a court judgment. As a matter of law, these judgments are public records and can bring unwanted attention. Anyone that wants to find out about you can easily access this court record. For example, if you apply for a new job, expect the employer to learn about this problem. Your neighbors, colleagues, church members, and even people considering whether they want to socialize with you can easily find out about this information and legally discriminate against you. Your insurance company can also increase your rates or cancel your policy.

Attorney Dorothy Bunce to the Rescue

Of course, being targeted by a court judgment or lawsuit is intimidating. Still, it is not a hopeless situation. To discover your options — and you do have some, call (702) 551-3256 to consult with Attorney Dorothy Bunce, lead attorney of A Fresh Start Law. For more than 35 years, she has helped people just like you deal with debt.

Ways to deal with a court judgment or wage garnishment include:

  • Filing for Bankruptcy, either in Chapter 7 or Chapter 13
  • Settling this debt at a reduced amount.
  • Making a payment agreement with the creditor.

At A Fresh Start Law, our team understands the legal ways can protect yourself and your family from creditors. But trying schemes like taking your name off property without legal advice can result in CRIMINAL consequences. Since you are NOT a criminal, don’t take chances. Instead, get legal advice to discover proven legal ways to protect your assets by consulting with A Fresh Start Law.

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Dorothy is an active member of the Southern Nevada Association of Bankruptcy Attorneys. AVVO has also recognized Attorney Dorothy Bunce for her outstanding legal abilities, awarding her the following:

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