I had a store credit card with Target in 2005, which they converted to Target Visa around 2007. I was paying my bill on time, but in 2009 I lost my job and then had to file disability. By July 2010, when I got off disability, I found out my debt was transferred to CIR Law Services. My total was now over $4000, most of it due to fees. When I tried to contact CIR, they could not work out a reasonable payment plan, asking for $500 and $1000 payments I could not afford. By now, the debt is over $5000. Yesterday, I checked my bank balance and found out that my accounts have been levied. The money I use to pay my rent, my child support payments and money for bills are gone.Is there any recourse against it, and if not, can they do it more than once? What should I expect? Thank you in advance.
One of the accounts levied is a joint one with my husband. When I tried to contact CIR again and Target National Bank, they kept sending me to each other; also, they said nothing could be changed/stopped because the sheriff has been involved - unless I pay the full amount of debt. I can't do that, obviously. Thank you again.
Lawsuit / Dispute Attorney
Your options to this default judgment are in my blog posting, below. The first step is either file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, which would discharge the lawsuit and probably refund all levied funds, or file with the levying officer a Judicial Council form for claim of exemption and the financial statement form. The forms are linked below and you can prepare them for free at the link, then press print and sign and take enough copies to the levying officer that enforced the levy.
If the funds were directly deposited from an exempt source, such as government assistance, then the bank should not have allowed any money to have been levied, if all of it was from that exempt source. However, now you need to file the exemption forms to get the funds returned, and it will be subject to the judge's review of your financial situation, unless you file bankruptcy.
Robert Stempler (please see DISCLAIMER below)
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Unfortunately your inability to pay your bills isn't a legal defense to a breach of contract claim. They don't have to accept a payment plan that you can actually abide by, and they don't have to be reasonable, they're entitled to enforce the contract you agreed to, including tacking on their late fees and interest. From their perspective, they didn't hold a gun to your head and force you to spend their money and not pay it back.
But they can't just levy your bank account, and accounts you jointly hold with your spouse. To garnish your bank account, your creditor had to sue you and win their lawsuit, get a judgment, and now they're executing on it. If you never got notice of a lawsuit, then they may not have served you properly. Your best bet is to hire a litigator to see if you can "set aside" this judgment and stop the garnishment.
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