Legal Question in Credit and Debt Law in California


What should I do after receiving a letter from a collection agency attorney that states'' we have obtained judgement against you.''? It also states that they are now free to levy on my wages, place a lien on property etc. What are the appropriate next steps for me? Should I contact them and say that I don't own anything. Anyway, thanks in advance for your insight.

Asked on 1/28/04, 2:30 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Roy Hoffman Law Offices of Roy A. Hoffman

Re: judgement

If the creditor has indeed obtained a judgment, they will likely begin enforcement proceedings. This includes garnishing your wages, levying on your bank accounts, etc. If you have a job, you might consider contacting the attorney, verify that a judgment has been obtained (i.e., ask the attorney to send you a copy, or obtain a copy from the court), and arrange to make some type of payments to satisfy the judgment.

Whether you have anything now or not, you should know that in California judgments are valid for 10 years, and may be renewed for any number of additional 10 year terms. During that time, judgments accrue interest at the rate of 10% per annum from entry of judgment until paid. That means that at some point in the future when you do have assets, it is likely that your creditor will be able to collect the amounts owed, together with interest. Similarly, if the creditor records an abstract of judgment in the county where you live, if you ever purchase real property, the moment title is transferred into your name, you will have a judgment lien against it. That judgment lien will have to be satisfied before you can refinance or sell the property.

Finally, don't foreget the obvious - judgments show up on your TRW report; hence, you run the risk of not being able to obtain credit.

Read more
Answered on 1/28/04, 2:41 pm
Sheldon G. Bardach Law Offices of Sheldon G. Bardach

Re: judgement

That letter should not be the first notice you have of a judgment secured against you. You would have had to served with the Summons and Complaint. Which would have given you 30 days to file an answer or other pleading. Ask for the coiurt and the court number, don't assume they have a judgment against you. If they do, don't volutnteer anything. They ouwld have to get a judgment and file a proof of service on you, before they could get a writ of execution to attempt to go against your assets, and that would be the time to tell them you have no assets, probably at an appearance . . ORAP.

Read more
Answered on 1/28/04, 4:01 pm

Related Questions & Answers

More Credit, Debt and Collections Law questions and answers in California