It's been 3 months since I submitted my answers of denial to Fulton County Magistrate Court on a debt collection summons. The court clerk stated that I would be notified of a court date. Yesterday I received a letter from Hanna & Associates, the attorneys representing Midland Funding, asking me to sign the enclosed Consent Judgement. It says, "defendant has admitted owing plaintiff $2391.84 principal, and cost of court." I never received a court date and in checking my case number online, the last activity on the case was the submission of my answer. Are they assuming I'm ignorant (which I may in this case be) and just trying to trick me? And if so, is that legal? What should I do with this?
Once a lawsuit is filed and an answer is filed, the courts will set the matter down for a hearing. The consent judgment you received from Hanna & Associates is an attempt to get you to agree to a judgment in their favor without having the matter go to trial. If you sign the consent judgment, then Hanna & Associates will be able to start collection proceedings, such as garnishing your wages or putting liens against any property you own. If you do not sign the consent judgment, then the matter will proceed to trial. Depending on your financial situation, a bankruptcy filing may be a good option as it will stop the lawsuit from going forward.
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Divorce / Separation Lawyer
You've been sued and you do not yet have a lawyer? Even worse, you have not done minimal research to know how Fred Hanna or the courts operate. On your own, you are 99.99% sure to lose. In not hiring counsel, you have also almost certainly not asserted all your defenses (and possible counterclaims). Don't sign anything until you have a consultation with a lawyer, and see a lawyer Monday. (In a consent judgment you have agreed to lose).
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Of course it is "legal" for them to ask you to agree to a judgment. It is "legal" for you to ask them to dismiss the case, even if they don't want to. As far as "tricking" you, you have the document to review and it is your choice to sign or not sign. The problem is you don't understand how lawsuits work. You can take your chances in court and probably lose, hire a lawyer (in which case you are paying a lawyer and still may pay some/all of the claim), or offer them a settlement and make sure any settlement is in writing.
DUI / DWI Attorney
Consider the following:
Hanna and Associates are going to attempt to reconcile this case out of court.
so, does the amount Hanna & Associates is asking for constitute all that is owed?
You should at least consult with an attorney about everything that you have received and filed in court to get the scenarios you may be facing in the future.
If you find this answer helpful, please mark it here on AVVO as helpful. At this time, I am not accepting professional responsibility on this matter. No attorney/client relationship is created unless and until I receive a signed retainer agreement along with the requested retainer fee. If this matter is truly important to you, hire an attorney. In answering you, I am attempting to communicate general legal information and am not representing you (and am not your lawyer). Without reviewing the appropriate paperwork It is possible that answers here, while meant to be helpful, may in some cases not be complete or accurate, and I highly recommend that you retain legal counsel rather than rely on the answers here. I am happy to discuss possible representation with you. Any information in this communication is for discussion purposes only, and is not offered as legal advice. There is no right to rely on the information contained in this communication and no attorney-client relationship is formed. Note that I am only licensed in Georgia and thus cannot practice in other states. Nothing in my answer should be considered as tax-advice. Circular 230 Disclosure: Pursuant to recently-enacted U.S. Treasury Department Regulations, we are now required to advise you that, unless otherwise expressly indicated, any federal tax advice contained in this communication, including attachments and enclosures, is not intended or written to be used, and may not be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding tax-related penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any tax-related matters addressed herein.