Received a summons today, Iā??m being sued for a car by Ford Motor credit in 6 days. The total they are suing for is 9719.63 and costs. I am at my wits end. I am the only one working right now. My husband had a major medical problem a year and a half ago. He is not working, has no money coming in, and probably will not be back to work anytime soon. I owe the money but there is no way I can afford to repay that right now and if my wages are garnished I donā??t know how we would live. A couple of months ago they offered to settle for $5000 dollars which was a good offer but they wanted the money then and I just didnā??t have it. Any chance I can make a deal with the lawyer handling this? If they garnished my wages it would take forever to pay this off. Can anyone offer any advice?
in order to garnish your wages a judgement or court order must be obtained.
go to court and explain your position and tell the judge you can make minimual payments , if the attorney refuses that state you have no assets to attach or put a lien on.
if the attorney is granted a judgment and files for a wage garnishment there is a form you can file with the court that is called a claim of exemption, but you must prove you have no ability to pay and more than 1/2 your income in needed to support yourself which in your case sounds like it.
I'm sure they will probably win. I did buy the car and financed it through them, they included copies of the contract on thee summons. I couldn't afford an attorney and the court I have to go to is over 40 miles away.
I have never heard of a claim of exemption. Is that something in all states? I live in Illinois and I always understood that when they garnish your wages there is not much you can do about it. Between house payments, lights, gas, and food we need more than 1/2 of my income.
Something I didn't understand. On the summons near the top it says
No clue whether this applies here....but ... I recall reading somewhere here that you could offer them what I think was called a "settlement conference". Then if they refuse your settlement offer, when you go to court you can at least show the judge that you were making every effort to settle. During the settlement conference (if it happens) you could let them know the amount (even tiny) that you'd have available to pay them given your finances.
You can also state that you are really NOT interested in filing a BK, though you may be forced to do so if the judgment was successful and they forced a garnishment on you.
I'm not SAYING to file, but I'm hoping that hinting will make them realize you're a the end of your financial rope? I don't know, but between that and your hubby's situation you might be able to work something out amicably. If nothing else you'll have the sympathy of the judge that you did you level best to make this work out.
Best of luck, and please write to let us all know the progress. We're here for ya.
Oh yeah. And WHATEVER you do be sure to ANSWER THE SUMMONS. In my state I just ran down to the court clerk's office and was very nice to her, since they can't give legal advice. She handed me a form that had a few blanks to write down the court numbers and the names involved and then write down which parts of the summons I admitted to (like name, and fact that I live in the state, etc.) and then the parts I denied. I denied everything financial, since they have not provided me a validation and I don't agree with the legal fees and interest added. You can deny the whole debt, even if you just think a bit of it is incorrect as the burden of proof is on them. BE SURE you do this right away!
Then in my state I had to "serve" a copy of the answer form to their lawyer. I read on the web that I could pay a server $$, or send it CRRR or have anyone 18 years old and not involved with the case, so my daughter ran it over to their office. Then she filled out a form and had it notarized that she'd "served" them the form. Then I filed the notice of service with the court.
None of this cost me one red dime, and everything I did was handwritten. No bother to even type it out. Just used the form with a couple blanks to handwrite info. VERY EASY!
If you do not answer, they can get a default judgment and you do not want to go down without a fight.