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Norma Nodal Duenas
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Norma Duenas’s Answers

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  • Should I file for bankruptcy?

    I lost my job and am getting behind on payments. My car payment is over $500/month so getting caught up does not seem likely. I also have close to $10k in credit card debt and $1k in medical bills. I have been searching for a job for months and I ...

    Norma’s Answer

    The best way to determine if bankruptcy would be a good option is to have an attorney review all of your facts including your current income and expenses. It is also important to review what you own and if its would be protected in a bankruptcy. After this information is reviewed an attorney can evaluate whether filing for bankruptcy protection is in your best interest.

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  • I paid off a collections debt and the collections agent promised to remove my judgment. Can I hold it against him if he's lying?

    I was evicted and there was a civil judgment placed on my credit report. The landlord sued me and I lost the case in court. Today, I made the full payment of the amount owed and the collections agent promised me he can remove the judgment from my ...

    Norma’s Answer

    If you are agreeing to a payment in exchange for having the judgment removed from the credit report and also for them to vacate the judgment or to file a satisfaction of judgment, it is important that you have it in writing. If there is an issue later on then you can utilize the agreed upon terms to show the creditor violated the terms of the agreement for the payment.

    Never rely on just oral agreements from the creditor as it will be difficult later on to establish the agreed upon terms. The judgement that is vacated should also be removed from your credit report. It should not remain on your credit report for 7 years.

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  • Is filling bankruptcy a good idea for my situation?

    Have made so many bad decision in my life, I have lived beyond my means. I'm only 24 and I feel so much burden on me, I cry everyday and it is affecting my health. I have a car payment of 700 so stupid, insurance 260, rent is 1128, All credit card...

    Norma’s Answer

    As mentioned before, bankruptcy may be a good option for you given the initial facts described. It would eliminate your medical bills, payday loans, personal loans and credit card debt. The student loans in most cases are difficult to eliminate unless you meet the undue burden standard.

    You should consult with a local bankruptcy attorney who can evaluate your overall financial situation to determine if bankruptcy is a good option for you. In most cases you can recover from a bankruptcy and improve your credit score to a relatively good level after two years.

    Bankruptcy can provide you with the type of relief that can eliminate the current stress you are under. Below I have placed a link that describes how you can improve your credit score after bankruptcy.

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  • Just got a summons for a judgment. I defaulted on a credit card for $9,000. I have nothing...what do I do now?

    I've defaulted on my credit card ($9,000). I have nothing they can take, I'm 60, unemployed, on Food Stamps and Medi-Cal....YET...I just got served papers for a judgment. I told the lawyer, my situation, I have nothing, if they want to sue, fine.....

    Norma’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    As mentioned before if the creditor obtains a judgment against you, then they may be able to utilize it to try to collect from you. It sounds from your initial facts that there would not be much from which they can collect from, but this does not mean that they will not try the different options. If they obtain a judgment and try to levy a bank account that has an exempt asset then you may have to file a claim of exemptions.

    If you decide to respond to the lawsuit, make sure you understand when your trial date is. It happens often that people confuse the trial date with the date that is attached to the summons and complaint. The summons and complaint will generally have a notice that is attached that states:

    YOU A RE HERBY ORDERED TO PERSONALLY APPEAR IN DEPARTMENT "LOCATION', OF THIS COURT ON "DATE" AT "TIME", FOR A: HEARING RE: ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE WHY SANCTIONS SHOULD NOT BE ISSUED AGAINST PLAINTIFF FOR FAILURE TO FILE DEFAULT JUDGMENT PURSUANT TO CRC 3.740

    This date does not serve as your trial date. I have posted a link for further information below:

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  • I am being sued for a personal loan I took out with One Main Financial. What should I do?

    I am being sued for a personal loan. I have yet to receive the papers, but I know I will be receiving them soon since I just got a phone call. I plan on attending the hearing. I owe about $5,000. I cannot afford to pay them at this time as I...

    Norma’s Answer

    If you get served by a creditor and you wish to set it for trial, you must file a response. If you fail to file a response the matter will not be set for trial and there will be no automatic hearing. Based on the facts you describe you have several options. If the creditor obtains a judgment then you may be able to file a claim of exemptions to stop the wage garnishment or to address a bank levy. I have placed a link below that describes how to stop a wage garnishment. As also mentioned before, you can also consider filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. A qualified attorney can review your facts and determine if bankruptcy is a good options for you.

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  • My father is being sued by Nelson & Kennard for an old Capital One cc debt.

    My father and mother's only source of income is ss retirement and they have no assets or any other source of income. What would happen if there is a default judgment? I understand that ss income cannot be garnished, but they have nothing else to...

    Norma’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    If they have no assets and their only source of income is social security then they could judgment proof. Assuming that the creditor obtain a default judgment, that creditor would have little recourse to collect on the judgment. The debt collector would have a judgment but no real ability to collect on the judgment using the normal processes such as wage garnishment, bank levy or judicial lien (assuming he has no home).

    You can write the creditor a letter informing them that the debtor is judgment proof. Many attorneys will also write letters to the creditors advising the creditor of this and directing that any future communication be sent to their office.

    Make sure that your father does not commingle his social security income with any other income to avoid any issues with identification of the income as social security. Below I have placed a link that describes what it means to be judgment proof.

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  • Would a trustee liquidate my assets in this case?

    I don't completely understand the exemption rule in California bankruptcy law. If my home is worth 400,000 and I owe 200,000, my equity is 200,000. Is my equity covered by the exemptions?

    Norma’s Answer

    What exemptions amount applies to you will depend on a number of factors that are listed in California Civil Procedure Section 704. You may be entitled to a higher exemption based on whether you care for or maintain someone that it lists in the section. Keep in mind also that generally the cost of sale is factored out of the equity which generally ranges from 7% to 10% of the value of the property.

    If you are concerned with keeping your home in a bankruptcy the best option is to consult with a bankruptcy attorney. You should obtain possible an appraisal to determine more accurately the value.

    If your home was worth the amount of 400K and you had 200K then, and you were entitled to the 75K exemption, then not all of the equity would be protected in your bankruptcy. This would mean the trustee and distribute to creditors the value that is not exempt in your bankruptcy.

    In the second example you give your equity would not still be fully protected. You may be entitled to a higher exemption amount depending on the facts of your case or depending on how the property is titled you may only bring half of the equity in to the bankruptcy. In your scenario you should definitely consult with an attorney prior to filing for bankruptcy.

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  • Can a collector garnish wages from both part time jobs in ca?

    I had a court date but kept getting letters from the court the date was moved. After the 3rd or 4th letter I contacted the court and was told there would be no court date there was already a judgment against me. Now my employer contacts me to te...

    Norma’s Answer

    Without examining what happened in the case, it is difficult to tell you why they were able to obtain a judgment against you. There might of been a trial date set where they obtained a judgment. Did you respond to the lawsuit and have a trial date set? It is not clear from what you indicated if this occurred.

    A creditor in California can garnish up to 25% of your net wages but you can challenge the wage garnishment through a claim of exemptions. Your employer should have provided you with a copy of the garnishment order and on this copy there should be instructions on how to challenge the wage garnishment. Below I have provided a link that details how you seek a claim of exemptions to stop the wage garnishment or have it reduced.

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  • Judgement from 2000

    This is not mine but it sure got my interest. A friend of mine received a call from a debt collector and was sent a judgment dated 2000 for rental eviction and damages. They indicated they had never been served with a judgment. Would this be a ...

    Norma’s Answer

    You should have the judgment reviewed by an attorney to determine if this is still a valid judgment. If the judgment was never renewed then they would not be able to utilize this judgment to levy bank accounts, garnish the person wages or place a lien on their home. They must cease utilizing these collection methods since the judgment is not enforceable.

    You should obtain the name, address and telephone number of the debt collection that is requesting payment for this debt. If it is a fraudulent debt collection then report them to the Federal Trade Commission and California Attorney Generals office for investigation.

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