What can i do when i got served to garnish my wages?

Asked over 1 year ago - Bakersfield, CA

I HAD CAR LOAN IN 2002 FOR 500.00 OR SO WELL I DIDNT PAY IT .. I HADNT RECIEVED ANY LETTERS OR JUDGMENT PAPERS UNTIL LAST YEAR . I AGAIN REALLY DIDNT PAY MUCH ATTENTION .. I THOUGHT STATUE OF LIMOTATIONS HAD RAN OUT.. WELL THEY NOW WANT TO GARNISH MY WAGES FOR 4K. SAYS ITS INTEREST AND COURT FEES WHICH I KNEW NOTHING ABOUT ANY COURT DATES.. IT SAID THAT JUDGEMENT WWAS ENTERED 6/08/04 . I KNOW I NEED TO PAY WHAT I OWE BUT JUST LOST MY HUSBAND AND IM A SINGLE PARENT . IS THERE ANYTHING I CAN DO THEY WANT TO TAKE 25 PERCENT OF MY WAGES EACH CHECK ..PLEASE HELP

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Dorothy G Bunce

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I would suggest that you obtain copies of the court records, which may be easier than you think because lots of courts post all their records online. Get a consultation with a local attorney if you have a hard time understanding the records.

    To make the debt disappear may take some effort. Creditors will often settle for less than $100% of you give them a lump sum amount. If you want to make payments, expect the creditor to demand a very high payment to avoid a garnishment.

    If you have lots of other debts, bankruptcy could also be an option. Hope this perspective helps!

  2. Richard Scott Lysle

    Contributor Level 17

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Do the following:
    1) File a Claim of Exemption, stating that you need more than 75% of your earnings to pay for "necessities of life." There is no court filing fee. The forms are filed directly with the Sheriff (or other levying officer).
    2) Get copies of the relevant court documents, including Complaint, Proof of Service, Judgment, and computations of post-judgment costs and interest. Consult an attorney and consider filing a motion to vacate the default judgment.

    Do not rely upon any legal opinions or legal advise given by any debt collector.

    If the default judgment is set aside, you may have good grounds to win the case because, after all these years, the plaintiff may not be able to locate and subpoena the witnesses whom it needs.

  3. Frank Wei-Hong Chen

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If you aren't challenging the judgment itself, you can file a Claim of Exemption along with a Financial Statement. A Claim of Exemption is a form a debtor files with the levying officer (like the sheriff) explaining why the wages that the creditor wants the debtor’s employer to garnish should be exempt (excluded).

    The forms are:

    http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/wg006.pdf

    http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/wg007.pdf

    Turn in 2 copies of the Claim of Exemption (Form WG-006) and the Financial Statement (Form WG-007) to the levying officer in your case (like the sheriff) within 10 days of receiving the Notice of Levy. Keep one copy of both forms for yourself.

    Your employer will hold on to the money garnished until 10 days go by and the creditor hasn’t opposed the claim of exemption, or the judge makes a decision at the hearing on the claim of exemption. If the creditor doesn’t oppose your claim of exemption, your employer will return the wages to you. If the creditor opposes your claim of exemption, you will receive a Notice of Opposition to Claim of Exemption and Notice of Hearing on Claim of Exemption that will set a court date for a judge to make a decision. If the judge agrees with your claim of exemption, you will get the money back. If the judge agrees with the creditor, your employer will send the money to the creditor every month.

    Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is... more

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