FAQs

garnishment notice

Q:

Hello, I received a garnishment notice at work today with no prior knowledge or notice of the debt. It is for a credit card(I am assuming), but the last time I had a credit card through this particular company was in 2002. No details, besides an estimated dollar amount, were provided. No account number or paperwork of any kind. How should I proceed? Thank you.

A:

I received the information you submitted to our site regarding the garnishment you were just issued. Long story short, what you should do right away is go find the original court case documents. At the top of your writ of garnishment (which your employer should have if you don’t) a court will be named. Call that court (you may have to google the number – look for the civil court clerk) and ask if they have your original case file (they will, unless the case was transferred in from another court, and if it was transferred, they’ll know where it came from). When you get your case file, you’ll know where and when you were sued and where/when/how they served you papers. That will answer lots of questions for you, and you can get that information to me and I will try and advise you as to how to proceed.

Because the list of prohibited behaviors is so long and complicated, many times only a lawyer would know if your rights are being violated.  What does that mean for you?  Well, it means that any time you receive a debt collection letter or call, see a debt collector listed on your credit report, or get served with a lawsuit, you should get the advice of an attorney.  Luckily, any attorney you reach through our site must offer FREE CONSULTATIONS that will at least provide you with basic advice about your options, and if a debt collector is violating your rights, the attorney could also represent you AT NO CHARGE to pursue a claim against the collector or attorney violating your rights.  This could and often does lead to outcomes such as: (1) settling the debt for a small amount; (2) eliminating the debt; and/or (3) financial compensation. 

Old Debt

Q:

I’m getting calls about an old debt that I don’t see on my credit.  Can they still collect the debt if it’s not on my credit report? 

A:

The reason it dropped off your credit is likely because there is a 7-year limit for things to remain on there; the clock starts when the debt is born, and is not affected by payments.  There is a DIFFERENT time limit for the collector/creditor to take you to court for the money, and THAT clock resets every time you make a payments.  So if the debt is valid and you’re within the time limit (probably 4-6 years, depending on the states involved) the creditor could take you to court to get their money.  The only ways to beat the debt are to beat them in court by showing you don’t/shouldn’t owe it, stop paying and take your chances that they won’t sue you before their time runs out (this is risky, and interest will continue to accrue as you wait) or discharge the debt in bankruptcy (which you could either do now or after you roll the dice and stop paying to see if they’ll sue). 

Debt Collection Scammers

Q:

A debt collector is calling and saying they are going to serve me papers today if I don’t pay.  Can they do that?

A:

Please see our page on debt collection scammers and how to spot them.

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