John Griffin Watts’s Answers

John Griffin Watts

Birmingham Foreclosure Attorney.

Contributor Level 14
  1. What is the statute of limitation for debt collection in Alabama?

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. John Griffin Watts
    2. Pamela Koslyn
    2 lawyer answers

    There is a big debate in Alabama between consumer lawyers and collection lawyers on the statute of limitations. Credit cards are considered "open accounts" which have a three year statute of limitation. But collection lawyers argue, wrongly in my view, that when they sue you on a credit card it is what is known as an "account stated" or "stated account" theory which has a six year statute of limitation. When we defend consumers who are sued, we challenge the idea of the stated account...

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  2. I am in Texas and I need to file in small claims court for debt collector in Florida for violating the TCPA.

    Answered almost 3 years ago.

    1. John Griffin Watts
    2. Mitchell Paul Goldstein
    3. Michael J Corbin
    3 lawyer answers

    I don't know the laws of Texas but if this happened in Alabama it would not be a problem suing them in Alabama. They need to be licensed/registered to do business here and have to provide an agent for service of lawsuit papers. As to whether you will recover money, it depends. We have had six figure Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) cases and Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) cases. We also have had very small ones. How many times were you called? Get with a Texas...

    Selected as best answer

  3. My mom is on Medicaid& is in a LTC facility-I transferred her life ins &want to change it back so she doesn't lose her benefits

    Answered 9 months ago.

    1. Evan H Farr
    2. Kelly Scott Davis
    3. John Griffin Watts
    3 lawyer answers

    Good answers by the other lawyers -- you have to fix the "gift" and do so the right way under Virginia law. I suggest getting with a Virginia elder law attorney asap to figure out the best way to handle this. There are some things that taking a DIY (do it yourself) approach makes sense. Elder law is one area where that normally ends badly. I'm glad you are investigating your options and encourage you to finish it by getting with a lawyer that can advise you. Best wishes John Watts...

    2 lawyers agreed with this answer

  4. All income just covers Assisted Living the suit will take away all money to pay for care. Can a company do that?

    Answered about 1 year ago.

    1. Michael Leo Potter
    2. Lawrence A Friedman
    3. Kelly Scott Davis
    4. John Griffin Watts
    4 lawyer answers

    I defend consumers sued by debt collectors and I also practice Elder Law. Here are my thoughts: 1. As suggested in the first answer, is your mother a veteran or a widow of a veteran? If so, she may be entitled to VA Pension (Aid and Attendance) which is for war time veterans (or widows) -- this could pay her up over a thousand dollars a month. 2. If you ignore the suit, a default judgment will be entered against your mother. Does she have property? A bank account with anything other...

    2 lawyers agreed with this answer

  5. Question about Va Benefit, living trust and selling of home.

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. Robert D. Mannor
    2. Kelly Scott Davis
    3. James P. Frederick
    4. John Griffin Watts
    4 lawyer answers

    The other answers are right -- selling the home will not be income but will be an increase in assets which could push your mother over the asset limit and cut off her Aid and Attendance benefits. One thing to keep in mind is that you also need to consider Medicaid if she ever needs to go on Medicaid. The general rule is that if there is no gift -- but instead a fair market value transfer -- then Medicaid normally doesn't have a problem (at least in Alabama). So get with an elder law...

    2 lawyers agreed with this answer

  6. Can my Mothers vehicle be reclaimed in order to pay Medicaid benefits paid to nursing home if the vehicle is put in my name.

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. Dennis Michael Phillips
    2. Kelly Scott Davis
    3. Michael Leo Potter
    4. Joseph Franklin Pippen Jr.
    5. Jacob Scott Pelley
    6. ···
    6 lawyer answers

    As pointed out in the other answers -- you need to get with a Medicaid Planning (Elder Law) lawyer asap. Simple things like gifts can have terrible consequences for families and your state may (or may not) allow the return of gifts to avoid a penalty period. I'm a bit unclear -- you say she is on Medicaid. Do you mean Medicare? If she has already qualified under Medicaid, then this might not be as big of an issue but you still need to get with a lawyer to find out. Often we can make...

    2 lawyers agreed with this answer

  7. My mother, 73, moved in with us 6 mo. ago. She has Alz and will need extended care. She has no real assets and draws $1510 a mo.

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. Ruthann P. Lacey
    2. Lawrence A Friedman
    3. James P. Frederick
    4. John Griffin Watts
    4 lawyer answers

    As the other lawyers have said, you need to get with a Georgia elder law attorney as quickly as you can. Georgia has Medicaid benefits but your mother will need to qualify for them. From what you have said, it sounds like she likely will but get with a lawyer to make sure. Qualifying for Medicaid can be confusing at times and you want to make sure that everything is done correctly and that there were no improper transfers within the last five years that might affect her ability to...

    2 lawyers agreed with this answer

  8. Missed my court day, stop garnishment, family member sick and hospitalized in another state and I had to be there, what do I do?

    Answered about 2 months ago.

    1. Paula Coleman Greenway
    2. John Griffin Watts
    3. Bill Whittaker
    4. Dane L Hines
    4 lawyer answers

    I think you had a court date but you missed it because you had to be with a family member and so now you have lost your court case resulting in a garnishment. Is this correct? If so, there is a very limited time to ask the court to "vacate" or "undo" the judgment based upon what has happened to you with the family sickness, etc. Get with a lawyer ASAP on this as the time period can be as short as 14 days. You are welcome to contact my firm if you like and we can see what the court...

  9. Is there a better way to pay on a judgment that will not just cover the interest each month?

    Answered 3 months ago.

    1. John Griffin Watts
    2. Blake Owen Brewer
    3. Arthur Lebedin
    4. Jeremy S. Davidson
    4 lawyer answers

    Most judgments in Alabama make 12% which means you face an uphill battle only paying $100 a month but you should be making progress. Get a detailed breakdown of the interest and payments from the collection lawyer or whoever has this account now. As others rightly mentioned, you can look at filing a chapter 7 bankruptcy and get rid of the debt or settle the debt. Nothing "talks" like a lump sum of money. Best wishes John G. Watts Birmingham, Alabama

  10. What is the statute of limitations in the state of alabama for being forced to pay a past credit card balance?

    Answered 4 months ago.

    1. John Crad Hubbard
    2. Robert J Adams Jr.
    3. John Griffin Watts
    3 lawyer answers

    As John mentioned, the statute is normally not going to be over 6 years. If you last paid on 4-27-08, then the first missed payment would have been around that time in May 2008. So you are very close on the six years. Keep in mind that there are THREE time limits involved in debt collection. 1. Time to sue you -- statute of limitations. 2. Time to credit report -- about 7.5 years from when you first missed a payment. The technical answer is 7 years after the first major...

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