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Ellen Charlotte Carlson

Ellen Carlson’s Answers

100 total


  • How likely are judgement creditors to attach a lien to a property owned in a different state?

    My wages are too low to garnish by law and i have no bank accounts.

    Ellen’s Answer

    It depends on a lot of things. they can force you into court to disclose your assets and other liabilities. If they find out about it, and the debt is large enough, they will go to the other state and domesticate their judgment. Whether or not they move to sell the property is now immaterial. Once the lien attaches, it can sit there for years, accruing interest all the while. You really need to consult with a financial/consumer law/bankruptcy lawyer as to how to protect that asset!

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  • Is there a way to find out if my civil court case has been dismissed?

    I received notice that multiple sources were attempting to sue for collection on a bill for my hospital stay and my daughter's NICU stay when she was born. The hospital overcharged for a C-section when I delivered naturally, and months after we de...

    Ellen’s Answer

    Hire a lawyer! Compare the cost of hiring a lawyer to the amount of the potential judgment you face, and you will see the wisdom of this advice.

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  • Can a collection agency collect debt from me late father's over drafted checking account?

    The debt had been sold to a third party collection agency for an overdraft on his account. The third party collection agency called about the debt. I never received any letters from them. My name was not featured on his account. Only on checks. I...

    Ellen’s Answer

    Generally, no, but your facts are interesting. You say your name was on his checks. Does it SAY you're his POA on the checks? Did you get the account card from the bank, showing signatures on the account? If it was overdrafted, did you do that, while using the POA, or did he (he was in a nursing home for some period, during which time he wouldn't have written checks). So you see - not enough information to give a solid answer - see an attorney!

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  • What do I do if a lawsuit has been filed against me?

    I received a letter in early July from a collection agent over a credit card debt, threatening a lawsuit if I did not contact them or pay my fine. A few days later, I sent them a letter by certified mail stating what I could pay every month, and t...

    Ellen’s Answer

    Unfortunately, your action unwittingly confirmed that the debt was valid. Take the papers to a competent consumer law/bankruptcy attorney in your area who will advise you appropriately. I suspect this is not the only debt you have been treading water with and, really, when you are served with a motion for judgment on a credit card, the bell has rung and you have to buckle down and face the situation. We know how to help you, but you have to ask us (and, of course, pay a consultation fee). Good luck!

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  • Is my home, deeded in my wife's and my names in North Carolina subject to seizure by a court as the result of a lawsuit for debt

    I have numerous credit card creditors. I am concerned about losing my home.

    Ellen’s Answer

    IF your deed is to you and your wife, as husband in wife or tenants by the entireties, a judgment against only one of you will not attach to the home. However, if only one of you owes certain tax debts, it's possible for the tax man to get not only your house but maybe even your retirement accounts. Get a consultation with a competent consumer law/bankruptcy lawyer ASAP.

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  • Can I file wage garnishment with only a court judgement?

    I've been trying to collect money from the defendant. I won judgment in district court, but the court only offers (a) to file the judgement on his credit, and (b) a sheriff sale. He is a criminal that doesn't care about his credit and he has no re...

    Ellen’s Answer

    The likelihood that you will collect this judgment is extremely low if he has no assets. Credit is not a priority with people with no assets. They live in a cash economy, don't generally keep bank accounts and simply live below the radar. While most anyone can get judgment, it takes a professional to do productive collections work. I recommend you consult with one.

    P.S. There are just as many criminals with high credit scores as low ones, perhaps more. Debt was decriminalized and debtors' prisons were abolished long ago - if they're in jail, how would they EVER be able to pay back debt?

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  • Filed bankruptcy Pro se , but due to a pending personal injury suit my wife had, but lost it and still hasn't discharged

    The BK would have normally been discharged almost a year ago, but was held up because of suit. Her lawsuit was dismissed 4 months ago, but we still have not been given a discharge. Is there something we should file to move this along?

    Ellen’s Answer

    Contact the case administrator for YOUR case in the bankruptcy court clerk's office.

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  • Cashed 401k while in a chapter 13 bk.

    I had started the process to take a hardship withdrawal from my 401k. Our plan admin was on vacation and In that time I filed a 13. When plan admin came back they processed the paperwork so now after three weeks of filing a 13, my 401k was cashed....

    Ellen’s Answer

    i would ask my lawyer. If your lawyer doesn't know, get a second opinion (you certainly can afford it). There are a couple of options at least but I wouldn't let any grass grow under my feet.

    P.S. It's a 341 meeting.

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  • What questions should I ask in post-judgment interrogatories for debt collection in small claims court?

    The defendant is a franchise owner, so I think it will be difficult to garnish his wages. Other than bank account info, what other information should I request so that I can try to collect the money he owes me? What related to his car and house sh...

    Ellen’s Answer

    Getting a judgment is 10% of the battle; congratulations on your success with that. Collecting a judgment is the challenge, and it takes legal knowledge and expertise to do it. Competent collection attorneys know exactly what to ask and where to look for assets. I recommend that you retain one.

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  • I got summons for failure to appear in court for a doctor's bill.

    I owe a doctor's bill and failed to appear in court. I have been summoned to court in Nov for failure to appear. How much jail time am I looking to get and does this mean their is a warrant out for my arrest?

    Ellen’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    You apparently got a judgment and then, when the creditor summoned you to appear to answer interrogatories (questions about your financial situation), you failed to appear. If a court paper says 'summons' on it, it's a demand from the court, not the creditor, to show up. When you don't, the court is offended and orders you to appear to explain why you ignored a court order. Long story short, if you're going to 'go' this alone without a lawyer, show up in court, apologize for your failure to appear and answer the questions. Absent something you're not disclosing, the summons will be dismissed and you can go home. Do NOT wear anything of value or carry more than a couple bucks in your wallet because the questioning creditor can lift anything of value from your person at the interrogatories. Personally, I would get a lawyer.

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