Start by talking to a bankruptcy lawyer - but someone who really understands you and the details of the case at hand. You may have good options to preserve your rights to recovery on the judgment. Time is of the essence because of statutory deadlines and because when there's a judgment, there's often shady shifting of assets. Also, there may be some possibility of collecting against the LLP's insurance.
Filing for bankruptcy relief may be an option for you. It is possible that even if the Plaintiff were to win and obtain a judgment against you, you would be "judgment proof" - they may not be able to collect on the judgment. Your car may be a protected exempt item. The answers to each of these points really depends on the details and numbers.
The short answer is yes. There are many factors to look at to determine the best way to go about it. It is best to talk to a lawyer to learn your options before you take any legal action - I always advise everyone to learn all of the options and as many of the potential pitfalls before they take action, so that we can plan the best route. Do call one of us for a free telephone consult!
As stated by counsel already, depending on how much time has passed, file a claim of exemption (you have between 10-15 days depending on how you were served with the documents). By completeing the financial form you will explain to the court why you cannot afford the money to be levied from your account. You can also try to call the creditor and try to settle on the matter and come up with a payment plan - before you agree to pay the full amount, explain that you cannot afford the debt and are considering bankrutpcy (if that is in fact what you are considering); and see if they will agree to a reduced debt in settlement.
It seems like you've received some good advice so far, if you have the time, money and patience to deal with (or hire a lawyer to deal with) the eviction lawsuit. However, if you're currently unemployed, you may qualify to file for relief under Chapter 7 of the US Bankruptcy Code and get rid of this and possibly other debt entirely. I'm not sure what options are available in Long Beach, but in Los Angeles (and I believe in Orange County), there is a self-help desk run by Public Counsel that give free legal advice for people who want to file for Chapter 7 but cannot afford a lawyer - they offer classes on how to complete the necessary documents, give you detailed instructions, and will even review your paperwork to make sure its filled in properly. Best of luck!!
It seems like they are trying to force you into a settlement without providing you with the bare minimum of what you are entitled to in order to know about your debt and your options. You should certainly know, in writing, how much you owe, as well as what the settlement offer is. Many of these collection agencies are tough to work with and cross the line, or come close to crossing the line as to what's legal and what's not legal. You can try making a strong demand to a supervisor and if they still deny the documents you need, tell them you will report them to the Better Business Bureau and other applicable agencies. Usually a manager/supervisor can help, and often times being assertive helps.
You've gotten some pretty solid advice here: Administrative fees are first (payment to professionals who work on your case), then secured creditors, then unsecured creditors with "priority" (such as debt to employees, IRS, alimony, child support), and then unsecured creditors. This is a very, very simplified summary and a bankruptcy lawyer, or perhaps a more specific question listing the debts you are concerned about, may help answer your inquiry better. Also, please note that a chapter 13 case is for individuals only, so if you're looking to reorganize your business you would need to consider filing a chapter 11 case which is more complex and costly. Good luck!!
While your gross income may be over the state limit to file for Chapter 7 relief, you might possibly qualify depending on your monthly expenses, most specifically your payments on secured loans and towards taxes. This is a very, very general explanation and it's more likely that you would qualify for Chapter 13 relief where you would pay some or all or your debt (not not more than 100%) over the course of 3 to 5 years. Debt settlement may be a good option too but it takes time and energy and it is best to have professional assistance - if you hire a lawyer make sure it's definitely not for compensation on an hourly rate. You definitely have some good options. Best of luck.
I agree with several other responses, and I won't reiterate what they've stated. I want to add that by Federal Law, you will receive a 1099 (taxable income) for any savings greater than $600. This is usually not a deterring factor. One other point, while I would never suggest for anyone to default on any sort of payment, it would be easier to settle on your credit card debt if you have not been able to make current and consistent payments. Lastly, many banks offer a hardship program - they will close your account, stop charging interest and late fees and put you on a payment plan to take care of the balance in full. Call the bank yourself first and check out the options. Good luck :)
Yes, you technically may be able to re-convert your case. However, you do not have the absolutely right to do so. The answer boils down to the facts of the matter, and whether you would successfully qualify for a Chapter 7 case. Also, whether there have been a change in the circumstances of your finances and/or your life are important factors. Take advantage of a free consultation and discuss the circumstances of your case with a lawyer. Best of luck to you!