Stop Lawsuits by Filing Bankruptcy
Credit card companies, medical providers, landlords, and other numerous creditors will often initiate suit against people who owe them money. You will know if you’ve been sued by the formal Complaint that was served on you. In the state of Georgia, most law firms hire process servers to deliver these documents to unsuspecting debtors. Also, pursuant to Georgia state law, you must file a legally sufficient answer (which does not include simply filing a piece of paper with the court stating that “I don’t owe the money”) within 30 days of receiving service of the complaint.
The danger of not filing an appropriate answer is that a default judgment can be entered against you. A judgment is simply an order of the court stating that you owe a particular party money. Pursuant to this judgment, a creditor can file to garnish your wages and bank accounts and levy your property to sell to satisfy the debts.
The best option is to always visit an experienced Atlanta bankruptcy lawyer as soon as you receive a copy of a complaint for monetary damages in the mail. Fortunately, even if you do wait until a default judgment has been entered against you, there are certain situations where your lawyer can file a motion to avoid the judgment lien if it impairs any exemptions to which you would be entitled. That last sentence said a lot, so let me explain. Even though bankruptcy is federal law, it looks to state law to determine what exemptions a debtor can take in his property. Exemptions mean the value of property the debtor can keep away from the grasp of creditors and the trustee assigned to his case. So if you can exempt $5,000 worth of household goods and a $50,000 judgment lien would impair that exemption, your attorney can file a motion to literally strip that lien to wipe it out in your bankruptcy.
Again, the best and least expensive option is to simply visit an attorney before a default judgment is entered. A good reason for this is because once your bank accounts or wages are garnished, it is difficult to get that money back, even in bankruptcy. You should note; however, that filing Chapter 7, Chapter 13 or Chapter 11 bankruptcy will stop all future garnishment from taking place.