I am assuming that you have filed the case with Special Civil Part. If you filed in the Law Division, you have to have the Summons and Complaint served by a process server whom you have to hire yourself.
In Special Civil, the Court will do the service for you. You can call them up to find out if it has been served. After it was served, the Defendant has 35 days to file an Answer. If they do not, you are entitled to a default and later a default judgment.
If they do Answer, you will get a...
You should consult with a bankruptcy attorney. You may very well still qualify for bankruptcy even with equity in the house. There is always ch 13 even if you have a lot of equity.
There are other possibilities as well. It is not likely that they can force a sale of the house. However they will record a lien against the property.
You need a bankruptcy attorney who works closely with a real estate professional. Most, including myself offer free consultations and flexible payment plans
A couple of ways..You could come to NJ, pay the bail (if any) and have the court schedule another court date for the simple assault. After that you would have to attend court in 2-4 weeks to work out a plea agreement with the prosecutor or go to trial. If you plan to go to trial, the case will likely be rescheduled.
Or you could hire an attorney to resolve this matter for you. The court may demand for you to be physically present but most of the time they will allow you to enter a written...
as other attorneys stated, it would have to be in the best interest of the child. the court would give the 13 year old's preference significant weight. however there are many other factors. If your ex decides to fight it, you are looking at significant expenses. the court would likely order a child custody expert evaluation and that would be around $5,000.00 for the expert fee (probably paid 50/50 by the parties). plus you would incur attorney fees.
you basically have two options, either settle with the collection agency and agree with them on a payment plan or file bankruptcy. Most of the time unless the bill is small and you don't have much other debt it is more economical to file bankruptcy and just start fresh.
schedule an appointment with a bankruptcy attorney and discuss your options. Many attorneys, including myself provide free no obligation phone or in person consultation.
you may still have some to answer. how many days have passed since you have been served?
If not, you would need to file a motion to vacate default. do this ASAP. If you have an excuse (which you have) and a legitimate defense to the claims, in all likelihood the judge would vacate the default and allow you to file answer.
most litigation lawyers would be able to handle a claim like this. it is a simple breach of contract (possibly fraud) case.
what you really have to consider is whether or not you would be able to collect from this landscaper once you obtain a judgment. You can invest quite a bit of money obtaining a judgement just to find out that the landscaper has skipped town.
If this is a large landscaping company, then you shouldn't have trouble collecting. In such a case you would likely be able to get...
many debt consolidation companies operate on a national level. they generally hire local attorneys to represent their clients in local courts. the local attorney would file paperwork and go to court on behalf of the client.