Legal Question in Credit and Debt Law in California

In 7/2011, I was informed by landlord that they would be starting eviction proceedings in 3 days because my roommate was 2 months behind in her rent. Landord placed notices on our door re: late rent and eventually eviction proceedings. My roommate never informed me of what was going on. I found out because she hadn't DWP and we lost electricity and her car was repossed and I became curious if our rent was all in tact. Sadly it wasn't. We terminated our lease early. from July-Nov 2011 I asked her to spk to landlord to work out some payment plan for her share of delq rent. She reassured me and landlord she would take care of this. (I have emails/texts) In Dec I received a letter and call from collections. Roommate would not cooperate after AGAIN giving her word to handle this debt. I paid the settlement ($1608) to protect my excellent credit and she was suppose to pay me $75 per month starting 2/10/2011 until paid in full. She hasn't. I mailed/certified mail/emailed her to reiterate our conversation that she did not honor. I told her she has until 3/12/2012 to pay me in full. Her response was, 'Go for it, because I won't have it'. I know I have a case...HOWEVER, she owes me $5000 for past rent, her hald of early lease termination and other things in which we have a written contract and she is current. I feel she will stop paying me once I take her to court for this Collection matter. Can I sue for the full $6600 plus court costs? If she is a no show in court, can I garnish her wages? She has borrowed from others w/out paying them back and she does not pay her bills. I have been patient because I really want to give her a chance to make this right, but I am learning that my patience has been mistaken for weakness. Please give me some incite.

Asked on 2/27/12, 10:58 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

David Gibbs The Gibbs Law Firm, APC

Nobody on this forum can tell you for sure that you "have a case." It takes much more than a paragraph of information to form a solid legal opinion upon which you may rely, so my response is more along the lines of general information. Based upon what you have posted, I would suggest that you take the former roommate to small claims court. It costs very little, and you are within the jurisdictional limits of small claims court. Let a judge decide - again based on your side of the story, it is perfectly reasonable to believe that a judge would rule in your favor. What you don't know, however, is what the defendant is going to come up with in terms of a defense. Be prepared to document everything. If you win, you will be given a judgment against her. With that judgment, you can then apply for a wage garnishment, a bank levy (if you know where she banks), but be prepared that if she files bankruptcy, you won't be able to continue collections against her.

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Answered on 3/01/12, 1:24 pm

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