What are my options? Can I ask the court to mediate a reasonable payment plan
Mediation or payment plans are with the creditor. I would talk to a bankruptcy lawyer anyway.
The court likely will not get involved at this point. You took your chances when you went to trial.
I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been handling criminal defense and personal injury cases for over 18 years. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails, is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.
If you have other garnishments or child support, you will likely not have to pay as the law prtoects part of your salary. I do agree you whould speak with a bankruptcy lawyer to make sure you have all the options explained
Unless you have grounds for an appeal, judicial intervention ended when a verdict was reached. You should immediately speak with the attorney who represented you or seek the help of a bankruptcy attorney.
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Discuss your financial situation with a bankruptcy attorney. If you qualify for relief under Chapter 7, you can discharge this debt, and possibly avoid the judicial lien n your property. If you do not qualify for relief under Chapter 7, you could file a Chapter 13 case, and pay this judgment out over a payment plan that could run from three years, up to five years. Garnishments, levies, and any other debt collection activities would be terminated by a bankruptcy filing. Go see a local bankruptcy attorney, and get relief from this judgment.
I'm sorry that you lost your lawsuit and are without the funds to pay the debt. It would be unlikely that the Court would get involved to mediate a reasonable payment plan. And you are right to not want your wages garnished as the creditor will garnish 10% of your gross wages. You were smart to think about bankruptcy. I urge you to consult a bankruptcy lawyer as soon as possible given that there is judgment against you and the judgment creditor can seek to restrain and levy on your bank accounts, in addition to garnishing your wages. Bankruptcy (whether it is a chapter 7 or chapter 13) affords you a breathing spell. Immediately upon the filing, the Bankruptcy Code provides for an "automatic stay," which prevents creditors from taking actions to collect on debts owed. If you qualify for chapter 7, and assuming that your assets are exempt (Federal Law provides generous protections for your assets), then you would be able to discharge your debts for Zero payment. Chapter 13, unlike chapter 7, does contemplate payment to creditors over a 3 to 5 year plan. However, such payments are based upon your ability to pay determined through certain formulas that a bankruptcy attorney would explore with you. It is often the case that chapter 13 debts pay just a small fraction of their debt which then gets discharged. A chapter 13 is tantamount to the "reasonable payment plan" to which you referred. Further, in a bankruptcy, debtors do not have any tax consequences as they do when debts are settled outside of bankruptcy. For instance, if a debt of $8,000 is settled for $4,000 outside of bankruptcy, then the IRS can tax such taxpayer on the $4,000 saved by the taxpayer which is referred to as cancellation of indebtedness income. Moreover, if you owe any tax debt, depending on how old that tax debt is, it can be discharged in a bankruptcy. Best of luck, Barbie D. Lieber
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There are limitations on how much a creditor can garnish from your wages.
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This is a common situation in my law office. We pull your three credit reports and assess if your property is exempted under New York laws Oftentimes when a person is sued we just file the bankruptcy to save time, money but most important, emotional stress and anxiety that can effect your physical and mental health. Bankruptcy very often improves your credit rating. There are calculators that can average your FICO score and predict what your score will be in a year and 90 days. I would call a Bankruptcy Attorney tomorrow so that he can figure your options. I do not how lawyers do it in Brooklyn but I offer a free consultation to consider the options. But worrying about this problem will drive you crazy. I urge you to see a Brooklyn attorney as soon as possible. Just google Brooklyn Bankruptcy Attorney. Good Luck
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