A creditor may attach your account simply. Foreclosing on real property may be possible but is more cumbersome and a residence will state and federal protection you may invoke.
You will need to consult with a consumer protection or bankruptcy lawyer locally. Many lawyers on this site offer a free consultation and you might find one near you and make an appointment for specific legal counseling.
1. Start keeping a detailed log of all calls and letters and a paper file of all information. Because persistent violations of the FDPCA are punishable by statutory fines and attorney’s fees under federal law, but you need hard evidence.
2. Make a written demand that all further communications from creditors is in writing under 15 USC 1692 (c).
The letter should also contain a dispute of the validity of the charges and include a demand for a complete accounting with signatures, and all contents of their file.
The creditor then has 30 days to reply and they may not take any action until you have been sent the validation. Bear in mind that this may be motivation for the collector to work your account when the file comes to them from the original creditor with new information.
3. Do not give them any personal information because that is how collectors decide on which accounts to recommend suing. Remember they may not tell the truth and will say just about anything to get a payment from you and that payment reaffirms the debt, gives them information about you and your bank and ability to pay.
4. If you are going to make payments use money orders and not personal checks, wire transfers, money grams, or “check by phone” because if they find a bank account the collector will be more likely recommend a lawsuit the their legal department.
5. All collections are negotiable; the original creditor has given up and is losing up to 50% on the face value already either by splitting any return or selling at a huge discount. In addition, the costs of a lawsuit although discounted still are a factor in the decision to settle with you.
If you are going to settle mark the check “settled-in-full” at the very top back of the check and include a letter explaining you are offering a settlement, keep copies of everything.
6. Get written confirmation of any payment plan the agency will accept before making a payment.
7. Specify in writing that all payments will be applied to principle first.
If you are ready to throw in the towel go see a local bankruptcy attorney and explore your options for federal protection. The protection will even look back 90 days from filing and get back money taken by the collectors.
If your debt is with the government like the IRS or a State agency or for Child Support or taxes the rules will be different and you will need a local lawyer.
DO NOT use a debt settlement service; most of them are scammers.
I do not practice in your state and you will need to consult with a local lawyer for additional protection under your state law.
I have pasted a link to the FDPCA to help you with your federal rights;
You should read the FDPCA from the link above and become informed about your rights; this will help you and your lawyer.
I hope this information and generic advice is helpful and If you found this helpful, please click the thumbs up below. Thanks.
If you want to do away with the threat of garnishment, etc., you will need to go back to the Court whrre the creditor got the judgment, reopen the case and defend it.
Judgments are filed in the office of the clerk in the place (jurisdiction) where the suit was filed. They can be filed in other jurisdictions as well by being recorded in additional clerks offices.
The judgment gives the judgment holder the right to use various means to collect the judgment. The two most familiar are wage garnishment and freezing bank accounts. The judgment can also constitute a lien on any real property that is in your name. The judgment can sit in the Clerks office for many years, accumulating interest until you want to sell a house or refinance the mortgage on a property, and then title or the loan cannot be secured unless the judgment is paid off.
Disclaimer: This answer does not constitute legal advice. I am admitted in the States of New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts only and make no attempt to opine on matters of law that are not relevant to those three States. This advice is based on general principles of law that may or may not relate to your specific situation. Facts and laws change and these possible changes will affect the advice provided here. Consult an attorney in your locale before you act on any of this advice. You should not rely on this advice alone and nothing in these communications creates an attorney client relationship. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author only and the fact that he has worked as an Assistant District Attorney; State Supreme Court Clerk; Special Assistant United States Attorney (Hawaii); Assistant Cornell University Counsel or Judge Advocate, United States Marine Corps should not be relied upon to assume that these statements reflect the policy of these organizations.