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Court Judgments

Guidance from a Trusted Las Vegas Attorney

Until you discovered a court judgment with your name on it, did you ever suspect that someone would actually sue you? After all, you are a hard-working, honest person, even if you have sometimes struggled to get by. But if you were not able to pay a bill, after a period of what probably felt like creditor harassment, when the calls stop, it is not good news. Even if this bill is no longer on your credit report, it doesn’t mean the debt has gone away.

Often without much warning, or perhaps no warning at all, you might discover your pay-stub is missing about 1/4 of what you were supposed to get, along with a note saying that your wages are being garnished. Or worse, your boss may call you into their office, shut the door, and hand you the paperwork saying there is a garnishment. What an AWKWARD moment that is!

Whether you knew about the lawsuit or not, whether or not you believed that you did owe money to a creditor, or thought defending yourself in court wouldn't help you, you are now living in a nightmare.

At A Fresh Start Law, we can provide you with solutions to deal with your court judgment through our Las Vegas office. You have options, and we would like to find the best one for you. While our attorney does not litigate (or take cases to court) due to the costs involved, we offer different strategies to solve these problems.

The top resolutions we generally advise to court judgment clients are:

  • Paid Consultation: Meet our experienced attorney – Dorothy Bunce – to understand how the court judgment happened and to explain your legal rights. Attorney Bunce will advise you about what you (or a litigation attorney) can do and what it might cost. You pay for the consultation because the attorney is not giving you a sales pitch to hire her to perform expensive legal work. You pay for an independent review and objective advice. This advice may explain ways to protect your assets and minimize the harm the court judgment does.
  • Debt settlement: Our attorney has years of experience solving the problems that come with a court judgment. Most non-attorney-run debt management companies (the kind you find advertising by email or on the radio) will not help you with a court judgment. Settling may require leverage from another attorney. Debt settlement, like any legal matter, is not something that comes with a guarantee. However, the cost to retain our attorney is a modest $150.00. The remaining fee is based on how much we save you.

Schedule a meeting with our firm by calling (702) 551-3256 today.


What Can a Court judgment Do Against You?

Lawyers often describe a court judgment as a “fishing license.” This means a creditor with a court judgment looks for assets belonging to you to take using the force of law. A creditor with a court judgment can force you to show up at their attorney's office with your pay records, bank records, and can grill you for answers to every part of your financial life through a process called a “debtor's examination.” While criminals have a 5th Amendment right to refuse to answer questions that might incriminate themselves, as a civil debtor, you have no such right. You can even go to jail for refusing to show up at one of these interrogations, and you MUST answer all the questions truthfully. Creditors can also get all kinds of other personal information about you by investigation services. At this point, what they do next will be in their favor, which will, of course, not help you.

A court judgment generally results in four negative consequences:

  1. Wage garnishment: With a court judgment, the creditor can instantly obtain a writ to force your employer to garnish your wages. Your employer has NO CHOICE but to garnish you. Not paying a garnishment makes the employer responsible for paying this debt. The wage garnishment lasts for 6 weeks. The creditor only has to return with a two-page pre-printed form which the court clerk (not the judge) issues to get the garnishment renewed. You might never get a break when the garnishment order expires because it is so quick and easy for the creditor to get another writ to start the process over again. In fact, an aggressive creditor may get another garnishment order BEFORE the previous order expires. While there are caps to how much the garnishment can take from your paycheck, any amount can devastate your finances. The money you lose through garnishment goes to pay court expenses and legal fees first. Next, the garnishment pays interest owed on the debt. With each new writ, court costs and attorney fees keep getting added to the debt. It is routine to see someone being garnished for months, or even years, before any of the payment goes toward actually paying down anything on the debt. The fees are often so high you may feel like you will never get this debt paid. Additionally, other obligations may be piling up behind the first one because you probably won’t have enough available to pay many of your other bills.
  2. Bank account attachment: With a judgment, the creditor can instantly obtain a writ to force your bank to turn over all money in any checking or savings account in your name. If you are on your mother's account, for example, the creditor can attach 100% of the funds in her bank account. While many people assume that the writ is a “one and done,” there is nothing to prevent the creditor from returning to the court clerk and ask for another writ if you still owe on the court judgment. If you open up an account with a different bank, there is no guarantee the creditor won't learn where your new account is and continue to take your money.
  3. Credit score damage: Once a court judgment is entered against you, it will most likely hurt your credit score. There is a section of your credit report (usually at the end of the report) called “public records.” New creditors and your current creditors will see the court judgment as a red flag warning NOT to do business with you, and of course, this hurts your credit score much more than having collection accounts.
  4. Publicity: Creditors are not the only ones who can view a court judgment. As a matter of law, court judgments are public records. This may bring unwanted attention to you and your debt, which used to be a private matter. Anyone nosy enough to want to find out about you can easily access this court record. For example, if you apply for a new job, expect the employer to learn about this problem. Your neighbors, your colleagues, those in your church, and even people considering whether they want to socialize you can easily find out about this court judgment and legally discriminate against you. Your insurance rates may increase or may be canceled due to the court's judgment.

Attorney Dorothy Bunce to the Rescue

Being targeted by a court judgment or lawsuit is, of course, intimidating, but it should not feel like a hopeless situation. To discover your options — and you do have some, everyone does — call (702) 551-3256 and speak with Attorney Dorothy Bunce, lead attorney of A Fresh Start Law. For more than 35 years, she has been helping people just like you deal with debt through personalized, effective resolutions.

Options that may help you deal with a court judgment or wage garnishment include:

  • Filing for bankruptcy, either in Chapter 7 or Chapter 13
  • Settling this debt at a reduced fee
  • Reaching a payment agreement with the creditor

To find the best solution for you, it is our goal to make sure you protect yourself and your family. Self-help strategies like taking your name off property can result in blow-back that could result in CRIMINAL consequences. Since you are NOT a criminal, don’t take chances. See a lawyer, so the strategy that seems so clever doesn’t bite you. As Attorney Dorothy Bunce often says, “If adversity doesn’t kill you, it will make you strong!” Find your strength with the help of our Las Vegas court judgment lawyer today.

Call (702) 551-3256 for an initial consultation to begin.

Reviews & Endorsements

Learn why we are the right choice from past clients and fellow attorneys.
  • “I am not used to having a lawyer treat me with this level of respect and showing me that she knew I was smart enough to make my own decision.”

    Gary

  • “Thank God I found you!”

    Robert

  • “Dorothy has been very supportive and caring throughout the entire nerve recking bankruptcy process.”

    Robert

  • “For the first time in so long I can't remember, I had a good nights sleep where I didn't wake up worrying about my bills.”

    Cheryl

  • “I have worked with many lawyers in my profession, by far Dorothy was the best.”

    HVU

  • “Mrs. Bunce is highly experienced and knowledgeable in his field.”

    Thomas K.

  • “She is the best!”

    J Steinbaugh

  • “She is a very talented person that knows about the laws and procedures”

    Anonymous

  • “Ms. Bunce did a stellar job throughout the whole process and I continue to be impressed with her.”

    David

  • “I wholeheartedly endorse attorney Dorothy Bunce. She consistently provides some of the most spot-on and technically accurate answers to various bankruptcy questions.”

    Ted Z.

  • “She is an excellent attorney. I happily endorse this lawyer.”

    Ross R.

  • “I highly respect her and would recommend her.”

    Adrienne H.

  • “There are no words strong enough to review Dorothy. She is the BEST!!!”

    Anonymous

  • “She is very down to earth and I believe genuinely concerned for her clients.”

    Anonymous

  • “Dorothy was always there, very patient in her answers and explanations and incredibly thorough.”

    John

Why Choose A Fresh Start Law?

  • Over 35 years of experience helping people and families start fresh!

  • We provide free consultations to help you determine the right course.

  • We create a plan designed specifically for your unique financial situation.

  • We walk you through the process and ensure you leave feeling set up for success!

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