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  1. #1

    Default Do I Need Lawyer to Defend Against a Small Claims Lawsuit

    My wife and I recieved a "pre-approved" check in the mail for $2500 on aug 15, 2005 from a financial institution. Cashing it created a loan.


    I later made some poor decisions in my business and we fell on some financial difficulties. I am in the process of rebuilding and money is tight, but we are ok.

    This creditor has filed a suit (court day in about a week).

    I do not dispute I owe the money. Not to mention, I am sure inability to pay is of no concern to the court.

    My concern is not so much judgement (we will pay soon as things pick up) but garnishment of my wifes part time wages or bank account.

    We have no assests so to speak to be concerned about them taking except an 403 retirement or something my wife has from an old job.

    Is it worth paying to get an attorney, and if so, what will be the benefits to my wife and I?

    The suit is addressed to my wife and here POE.

    They are asking for money owed, plus the interest agreed PLUS cost, (more?) interest and attorneys fees.

    What are my options - or do i just show up - and take the judgement and hope they don't garnish?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Do I Need Lawyer to Defend Against Lawsuit (Small Claims)

    You say "small claims" - but I doubt that the suit is actually in small claims court. Your wife may wish to contact the creditor's law firm to see if she can negotiate a settlement and payment plan.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Do I Need Lawyer to Defend Against Lawsuit (Small Claims)

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
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    You say "small claims" - but I doubt that the suit is actually in small claims court. Your wife may wish to contact the creditor's law firm to see if she can negotiate a settlement and payment plan.


    I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed, so help me out here, please.

    What would be the difference if it was/was not in small claims? Are the options for us different?

    It says at the top of the summons

    County Court, (Our County), Florida, Small Claims Division.

    So Im pretty positive thats where it is.

    Any other advice is welcomed as it takes place this week?

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Michigan
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    Default Re: Do I Need Lawyer to Defend Against Lawsuit (Small Claims)

    If that's how it's captioned, that's where the case is going to be heard. It just makes sense to be sure.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Do I Need Lawyer to Defend Against Lawsuit (Small Claims)

    uhm, ok....so does anyone have any answers to any of my actual questions?

    I was never confused as the where it was going to be heard

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Do I Need Lawyer to Defend Against Lawsuit (Small Claims)

    If you're not going to be patient enough to let us get the information we need to try to help, then probably not.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Michigan
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    Default Re: Do I Need Lawyer to Defend Against Lawsuit (Small Claims)

    When you start a new thread you are asked to identify your state. You chose not to do so. In most states you cannot have a lawyer in small claims court, so it was a very valid question for Mr. Knowitall to ask.

    Retirement accounts are normally exempt from garnishment. Florida also has an exemption to wage garnishment for the head of household, which may apply to your situation.

    If you want advice as to what to do, you should consult an attorney. If you fail to appear you will be defaulted. You can try to file the required pleadings, show up for court dates, present whatever defense you have, and see how the court rules. You can also try to negotiate a settlement and possibly a payment plan.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Do I Need Lawyer to Defend Against Lawsuit (Small Claims)

    You say "small claims" - but I doubt that the suit is actually in small claims court.
    No offense to you, but Mr Know it all you made an assumption (I guess hence the name), you didnt ask a question -- and made no inquiry as to the state

    You decided to give an answer without asking for more information.

    I am new to this board, and tried to be as thorough as possible.

    Unfortunately - no - i cannot wait as this has a deadline. So yeah - if this is gonna be a helpful site, i need it now, if not then i don't have time for an answer sometime next week after its all over.

    Which was why I gave as much info as I did.

    I am sure you can appreciate the position.

    Aaron thank you for your response, I just recently saw on the board here the head of household exemption. So worse case scenario - that may help.

    Now does that go for upcoming tax year - or based on previous?

    Again, I do not deny oweing the money -- Since I am not a criminal or an attorney - I am not court savvy - which is why I am posting here --- for help.

    In my mind, similar to a parking violation I had, the judge will ask if the charge is true or not. I will have to say yes. Because I DO OWE THE MONEY.

    I know mediation is a possibility so a possible payment arrangement can be made.

    If that occurs, can they still go after garnishment/assets?

    So would it be a waste to have an attorney present, knowing the only outcome is going to be a judgement? Or are there other things that I may have available?

    For us, $500 plus on an attorney to just end up with the same outcome doesnt seem like much help. On the other hand if spending 500 to save $1000 or have some other outcome, then thats worth it.

    Hope this makes sense.

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