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Affidavit Judgment - Possible Garnishment

District Heights, MD |

I was out of work for 14 months without pay due to depression. I am now back at work and two creditors have received an affidavit judgment for two personal loans. One for $3000 and the other for $6000. Is there anything that I can do to work out payment arrangements with my creditors or is it pointless at this point now that they have judgment. Is it too late to work out a settlement or can they can proceed with garnishment. I make $80,000 a year and know that they will fight me based on future income instead of what I did not earn for 14 months. I really don't want to file bankruptcy 7, but may have no choice if they are contemplating garnishing my wages. How soon after they receive judgment can they garnish my wages. Thanks.

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Attorney answers 4


Most courts will entertain a voluntary payment plan in lieu of wage garnishment. If not, you can use a chapter 13 bankruptcy to force the lenders to accept you payment plan. At your income level, chapter 7 might be out of reach, but you would need to consult a local bankruptcy attorney to know what your options are.


Maryland courts don't get involved with payment plans. Fact of judgment doesn't mean you can't TRY to make payment plan to avoid garnishment but this is a voluntary action. After 30 days, the creditor can file the wage lien. Can't comment on bankruptcy options without more info.

This is not to be considered legal advise and no attorney client has been established.


You can always try to work out payment arrangements with a creditor at any point, before or after a lawsuit is filed and even after a judgment has been rendered. However, you are in much less of a bargaining position to workout a payment arrangement or settlement with a creditor once there is a judgment, since garnishment is easily attainable for the creditor at this point - since you're earning income, they would be paid once the garnishment starts. And unless you file bankruptcy, the creditor would be paid in full.
Without additional information (how many in your household; is there other household income besides your 80,000/year; what deductions you would have; etc.), it is hard to determine whether a Chapter 7 bankruptcy would be available for you. Chapter 7 would allow you to wipe away the judgments in full, and your attorney would also file Motions to Avoid the Judgment Liens. If your income or other circumstances don't permit a 7 and you are in a 13, you could at least reorganize the payment of the debt depending on what your disposable income will allow.
You should consult with a local bankruptcy attorney to discuss your options.


You should have filed for bankruptcy while you were unemployed.

That being said, you may still qualify for bankruptcy chapter 7 if you have dependents etc.

$9k is a significant portion of your income. I would recommend discussing (with an attorney), debt negotiations or bankruptcy Chp. 13. These options will both allow you to maintain your necessary day-to-day living income, while dealing with your outstanding debts.