Skip to main content
No photo

Susan Ashabraner’s Answers

327 total

  • Can I do anything about a judgment that is about ten years old for a house that I didn't live at?

    There was a judgement for a case in Jan of 2002. In 2006 a writ of execution was sent to my prior address after I did not live there. Approximately 1 year ago I received a notice of judgement. No information or history was available from attorn...

    Susan’s Answer

    Your case is a bit complicated. First, go to the courthouse in which the judgment was entered and obtain copies of ALL the documents filed in the case (the clerk will charge $.50 per page). Then consult with a debt collections defense attorney who can review all the paperwork. His/her consultation fee will probably be worth the advice you receive.

    See question 
  • I received a Memorandum of costs after judgment, acknowledgement of credit, and declaration of accrued interest from a Lawyer.

    I received a Memorandum of costs after judgment, acknowledgement of credit, and declaration of accrued interest from Lang, Richert & Patch (Unifund CCR) It's around $3,500.00 I have been making solid payments monthly to them and have fallen back a...

    Susan’s Answer

    Did you know that someone has a civil money judgment against you? I suggest you look up the case on the court's website; input the case number (from the Memo of Costs) into the Civil Case Summary webpage.

    If you've defaulted on your payment plan, the plaintiff probably filed the Memo of Costs because he/she/it is requesting that the court clerk issue a writ of execution. And the purpose for the WOE is to levy your income and assets. In other words, the plaintiff is probably preparing to levy (take) the money from your bank account (if you paid by check, plaintiff knows your banking info) and/or to garnish your wages (if plaintiff knows your employer).

    You can call plaintiff's attorney to try to negotiate a new payment plan. Make sure the plan is in writing AND includes a statement that "Plaintiff agrees to stay execution of the judgment for so long as Defendant complies with the terms of the payment plan." "Stay of execution" means plaintiff will not try to enforce/collect the judgment.

    I do recommend you consult with a debt collections defense attorney. His/her advice may be well worth the consultation fee!

    See question 
  • Could we do our own will/living trust be ourselves? If we wrote it all out in long hand, I understand that is acceptable in CA.

    Needing to keep the fees low.

    Susan’s Answer

    The State Bar of California offers a free statutory will form here: You will need 2 witnesses to sign that they witnessed you sign your will; the three of you must be present in the same place at the same time.

    Before you prepare you will, however, you should read the 3 pamphlets listed on the same CA State Bar site above.

    Signing a will alone might not enable your heirs to avoid probating your estate; you might need a revocable living trust However, preparing a RLT is too complex for a do-it-yourself project; you need an estate planning attorney.

    See question 
  • Which county to deliver wage garnishment to?

    I'm evicting a tenant and anticipating garnishing her wages. She works for a restaurant chain in northern California but the restaurant headquarters is in Los Angeles county. Do I serve the wage garnishment to the county sheriff where the restau...

    Susan’s Answer

    Call the restaurant chain's headquarters and ask them which location (in California) to send the earnings withholding order. Then obtain a writ of execution for that county and mail to the county sheriff's branch who services that area an Application for Earnings Withholding Order, the WOE plus 3 copies, and the fee for service (usually $30-35).

    See question 
  • If the creditor does not oppose my claim of exemption, what happens with the judgment?

    wages were garnished and bank account levied. i filed a claim of exemption. what happens if they do not oppose it.

    Susan’s Answer

    If the judgment creditor does not oppose your claim of exemption (which you should have mailed to the levying officer) and set the matter for hearing, then the levying officer will return the garnished and levied funds to you.

    See question 
  • Can they get into my bank acct?

    My husband is being sued for $7000 for a defaulted credit card, can they take money from my bank account if I am the only one on the acct?

    Susan’s Answer

    The plaintiff cannot levy your bank account until or unless it obtains a judgment against you. I suggest you consult with a debt collections defense attorney regarding the lawsuit.

    If plaintiff obtains judgment, then yes, it CAN levy your separate bank account IF it submits a spousal affidavit to the levying officer.

    See question 
  • What kind of lawsuit is this?

    I filed for the bankruptcy 4 years ago and today suddenly a guy showed up at my house and left a photocopy of 'Notice to Defendant'. The document was filed 3 months ago and had 30days for me to respond. The guy never took any signature etc. It wa...

    Susan’s Answer

    It sounds like a process server personally served you with a summons and complaint. If you visit the case summary section of the court's website and input the case number, you should be able to see the lawsuit filed there.

    You have 30 days from the date you received the summons and complaint to respond to the lawsuit. If you do nothing, the plaintiff will have the court enter a default judgment against you, and will thereafter seek to enforce (collect) the judgment using liens and levies against your income and assets.

    I urge you you to consult with a local debt collections defense attorney ASAP. Show him/her the summons and complaint and *all* of the documents filed in your bankruptcy matter. If the sued-upon debt was incurred prior to your filing bankruptcy, the debt MIGHT have been discharged in bankruptcy. Meet with an attorney to advise you how you should respond to the lawsuit.

    See question 
  • When can I collect from the Defendant?

    I've already received my Notice of Entry of Judgement. I've won, but on the letter it says Enforcement is Postponed for 30 days. Well, 40 days have passed already, and still no payment from the Defendant. Am I supposed to receive a second letter s...

    Susan’s Answer

    It sounds like the judgment was entered in small claims court. If so, judgment enforcement was stayed during the statutory 30-day period for defendant to appeal the judgment. Now that that period has elapsed, with no request for appeal, you are free to enforce the judgment.

    Two helpful website will help you enforce/collect the judgment:
    1. and

    You can also visit your local public law library and read The Rutter Group's "Enforcing Judgments and Debts" practice guide.

    See question 
  • Attorneys’ Fees Not Recoverable. Does CA law force the losing side in a junk-debt-buyer limited civil case to pay atty/court $

    Category: Collections - Limited civil. I’m being sued by a junk debt buyer. Causes of action: 1st: Breach of contract; 2nd: Common Counts, including, among others, account stated. I used the affirmative defense in my Answer. I found this ...

    Susan’s Answer

    Plaintiff may recover attorney fees if judgment is entered based on an "open book account" claim (a type of common count). "Open book account" is defined by CCP Section 337a. California Civil Code Section 1717.5 explains the attorney fees:

    Plaintiff may also recover certain costs, such as the court's fee to file the complaint and the process server's fee to serve the summons and complaint. These costs will be added to the judgment along with attorney fees.

    Once the judgment has been entered, the unpaid balance will accrue 10% interest per year. Most judgment enforcement costs may be added, as well.

    If you've been used, I suggest you consult with a debt collections defense attorney regarding your options.

    See question 
  • My bank account was garnished... How do I stop it?

    Today I went to get gas and my card was declined.. When I called they said my card I had a legal court order against me that was garnishing my money to get payment. I am currently unemployed and the only money I receive is court ordered child sup...

    Susan’s Answer

    ASAP, fill out, sign and and mail to the levying officer a Claim of Exemption (EJ-160) with attached Financial Statement (EJ-165). The fillable forms are located here:

    See question