Skip to main content
John R. Cantrell

John Cantrell’s Answers

75 total


  • If I don't show up in court for a judgment against me from a ex-girlfriend that I owe money, will I get an arrest warrant?

    Debt Collection...Non-Jury Trial

    John’s Answer

    No. I am assuming that you are being sued for a money judgment only in civil court, not criminal court. Of course, if a judge has issued an order requiring you to appear, then that would be different, but if you have just been served with a summons and complaint in a civil case, the worst that can happen at this time is for the court to issue a default judgment against you for the amount claimed due in the complaint that was served on you by the process server. Also, your wages can't be garnished for normal debt in SC (aside from things like alimony, child support, back taxes or county hospital bills) so that probably won't happen either. However, if they get a judgment and you don't pay it, eventually there may be an order from a judge requiring you to show up with financial records to prove why you can't pay it, but that will not happen until after they get a judgment against you. If you have any defense to owing the money, or if the amount claimed due is incorrect, then you should file a written answer with the court explaining those things, and then show up to defend yourself in court at any hearing in the matter.

    See question 
  • My husband left me with a medical bill that was $6728.00 from 2011.

    He died in 2012. He did not have anything so an estate was never opened. Am i responsible for the debt?

    John’s Answer

    Probably not. However, SC does recognize the doctrine of necessaries, which means that a spouse may be liable for necessary expenses incurred by the other spouse, which could include medical bills. So a creditor would have an argument that you should have to pay it, if they choose to raise that argument. If you don't want to have to pay this bill, I suggest not making any payments on it, since doing so will extend the time that they have to sue you on this debt. If they sue you after three years from the last payment made on the debt (or three years after you sign a written agreement to pay the debt), then you will be able to successfully defend any lawsuit brought against you using our statute of limitations. If you haven't been paying on this debt, then it sounds like you are in the clear due to the three year time period's expiration.

    See question 
  • Does a supplemental proceedings verdict carry more weight than a judgment?

    I have a judgment against someone that has the means to pay but chooses not to. My next action is to file a supplemental proceedings. My concern is at what point will the guilty party be held accountable or am I just wasting people's time and my...

    John’s Answer

    Whether supplemental proceedings will work for you depends on whether the person you have a judgment against has any assets that can be taken to pay the judgment. Debtors in SC are allowed certain exemptions in property that they can keep protected from judgment creditors. (See attached link to SC Code 15-41-30.) If a person has assets that can be taken, supplemental proceedings is often a quick way to get them to pay up. If not, your judgment is good for ten years, during which time you can wait for the person to acquire non-exempt assets, and then go back to court for supplemental proceedings again. In a supplemental proceedings action, the judge will require the debtor to show up in court to be examined regarding his assets, and he will be required to produce records like bank statements that you don't have any other way to find out about. If they don't show up in court, the judge can issue a bench warrant to cause them to be brought into court by the sheriff. It is a pretty effective tool to get paid, if they have anything to pay you with.

    See question 
  • Went to court. Court gave judgement in my favor. Defendant refuse to pay up instead waited til last minute and put in an appeal.

    Should I get a lawyer ? I've been dealing with this since November 2014. Judge gave the judgement January 5 2015(received letter in mail). I'm suing my former boss for not receiving my last 3 checks.

    John’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Hard to say without knowing more about how much is at stake. Probably not worth it if small amounts involved. However, it will be hard winning an appeal without an attorney, due to complicated appeal procedure. If you win the appeal, then the other side will have to pay your appeal costs, plus up to $1,000 towards your attorney fees, which only helps a little. If you want to try to get free legal assistance on the appeal, then contact SC Legal Services, which is our legal aid group in SC.

    See question 
  • Bankruptcy case has been dismissed unable to refile. how long is it before the creditors contact you or do you need to call 1st

    case dismissed for non-payment, unable to file for 1 years. Do we contact the creditors 1st to make payment arrangements.

    John’s Answer

    It is generally best to wait and let them contact you. Sometimes, even with a dismissed bankruptcy, they never get around to realizing that you are no longer in bankruptcy, and so they may wait long enough to contact you until after the statute of limitations expires for them to collect the debt against you. Also, under SC law, even though you are no longer protected by the bankruptcy, it is still possible that you could retain an attorney to represent you regarding your debts, and thereby prevent contact from them if you wish to do that. You should probably check with an attorney to see if any of your assets are at risk of being taken if the creditors get any judgments against you.

    See question 
  • I am unable to pay debt that is owed to installment loan companies in the amount of $3000 & I am thinking of filing bankruptcy

    I have gotten caught up in the high interest rate installment loan process and I am unable to pay them the debt I owe them and they keep harassing me and threatening me. It is causing me a lot of stress and anxiety because I realize I have really ...

    John’s Answer

    I agree that you should not file a bankruptcy on this small of a debt. In addition, there are better remedies available under SC law to a borrower such as yourself. SC has a state law similar to the FDCPA which applies to original creditors such as yours. This means that any improper debt collection practices by finance companies can give you lots of leverage to settle these debts. I have settled with such companies in SC several times on such debts, and normally those companies end up paying my clients instead of the clients paying them. I handle such actions on a mostly contingency basis, and would be happy to speak to you on a free initial consultation to determine whether or not I could be of assistance in your situation.

    See question 
  • How do you settle a deficiency judgment when the bank has no record of your loan?

    Bank of America initiated the foreclosure but transferred the loan to HSBC. Judgment was issued by the court to HSBC. When we contacted them to negotiate a settlement, they said they have no record of us. Who can help us get a lien release or...

    John’s Answer

    Contact the foreclosure attorney that filed the foreclosure. They should be able to help you track down the proper party. If you don't still have copies of the foreclosure papers, they are on file in the clerk of court's office in the county where you were sued.

    See question 
  • To whom it may concern, We had a new heat pump system installed 2yrs ago. It just quit working, has a 10yr warranty.

    We have been with out the proper heating system and have made numerous call and letter to the Lennox Corp. and Budget Heating (installed system). It took some time, man showed up and said it needed a new valve. Charged $266 for new valve, that las...

    John’s Answer

    You may get the problem resolved by filing an online complaint with the SC Department of Consumer Affairs. I suggest trying that first, since it is free, and may help resolve your problem. See link below to their online complaint form.

    See question 
  • Per SC Code of Law Section 15-41-30, how does one obtain the debtor's interest exceeding $5,000 and have a sale of those items?

    In Aiken county, the Sheriff's Office will only seize items that are titled or deeded so how would I go about getting an attachment on the debtor's household furnishings and goods which exceed the $5,000 limit and get items sold to pay back on a j...

    John’s Answer

    I am not sure why this question is labeled under the bankruptcy heading. If the debtor has filed for bankruptcy, then it is possible that your judgment has been lien avoided in that bankruptcy or that the automatic stay will apply to make it illegal for you to collect on this judgment at this time. However, if there is no bankruptcy involved, then what you will need to do in SC to collect on your judgment, after getting notice from the sheriff that the debtor has no assets that can be sold to pay your judgment, is to file a motion with the court for supplemental proceedings, to find out what assets the debtor has to pay the judgment, if any. You will probably need to hire an attorney to file that motion for you.

    See question 
  • I flie bankruptcy and weeks later the bank so the loan

    doesn't the bank have a automatic stay from moving forward with anything. does the bank have to file paper work with the court first

    John’s Answer

    If you are trying to say that the bank filed a foreclosure after you filed a bankruptcy, then the answer is yes, the bank has to file a motion for relief from stay before they can proceed with the foreclosure. You should have listed the bank as a creditor in your bankruptcy, and they should have received notice of the bankruptcy filing, but it can't hurt to send a copy of your bankruptcy filing notice to the bank's attorney handling the foreclosure.

    See question