Judgments, Garnishments in Reno
If you have had a judgment entered against you or had a garnishment order entered on your paycheck, you may still have options before your property or hard-earned wages are taken from you. The bankruptcy attorneys at Darby Law Practice, Ltd. can help you understand your options regarding judgments and garnishments in Reno.
As a general rule, the only way for a general unsecured creditor to force you to pay a debt is to sue you in court and obtain a judgment against you. With a judgment in hand, the creditor can take certain actions to enforce or collect on that judgment, such as garnishing your wages, placing a lien on your property, or even taking money from your bank accounts. However, lawsuits are expensive and time-consuming, so they are rarely a creditor’s first alternative in attempting to collect a debt. General unsecured creditors usually resort to threats and intimidation to scare you into paying your debt. If they are unable to do so, most unsecured creditors will sell their claim to a debt collection agency, rather than bear the cost of a lawsuit. When these professional bill collectors start to harass you, you have options to make them stop under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. You may also benefit from a debt settlement or resolving your debt or tax debt through a bankruptcy in Reno or other measures.
Banks Are Different
There is one big exception to the general rule that an unsecured creditor must obtain a judgment to force payment. This exception is where a bank is owed money, and the bank also maintains the borrower’s deposit account. In this case, the bank can simply go into your checking or savings account and pay itself the amount owed. This is called a set-off or an off-set. This situation is most likely to arise if you have a credit card issued by your bank where you maintain your deposit accounts and default on your credit card payments. For this reason, it is usually a wise strategy to maintain your deposit accounts at a different bank than where you have credit.
Judgments, Garnishments and Bankruptcy
First of all, debt collection attempts of any sort are stopped the moment you file for bankruptcy, when the bankruptcy court issues an automatic stay of all collection efforts. This includes any lawsuits, as well as actions to enforce judgments such as wage garnishments. If a creditor wishes to continue collection efforts while a bankruptcy is pending, it must apply to the court and be granted relief from the stay.
Another aspect of bankruptcy is that it may be able to discharge a judgment against you or a wage garnishment or other collection effort. If the underlying debt which formed the basis for the judgment or garnishment is dischargeable, then the judgment or garnishment may be too. An experienced bankruptcy attorney at Darby Law Practice can help you determine whether these actions may be discharged in bankruptcy or not.
Reno Judgments, Garnishments Attorneys
If you are being sued because of a debt, or if you have a judgment entered against you and are concerned about a garnishment, attachment or lien on your property, contact Darby Law Practice for a free consultation with experienced Reno judgments and garnishment attorneys.