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Questions Answered by Barry W. Kaufman
1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation for Florida on
Q: Can i claim an exemption and/or request a hearing after final default judgement in hillsborough county , florida
Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
answered on Apr 3, 2024

No. A claim of exemption is part of the garnishment process. If you are not garnished, a claim of exemption is moot and will be not seen by the Court. There are ways to ask the Court to vacate the judgment or seek other relief, but I recommend that you retain an attorney to do so.

1 Answer | Asked in Collections for Colorado on
Q: I’m being sued by a collection company for a doctor visit that would have been covered by my insurance

The doctor office never billed insurance, did not notify me of the outstanding bill for a year despite me have numerous visits after the unpaid date. By the time I was notified it was outside the contracted time for the insurance to pay. The bill is excessive, $800+ for one infant checkup. I have... View More

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
answered on Apr 3, 2024

You can argue anything you like, but you could have also paid it or entered into a payment plan with the doctor's office well before suit was filed. If your response is that you didn't have the money, that's not a legal defense to the complaint. Additionally, you are responsible for... View More

3 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law, Civil Litigation, Civil Rights and Constitutional Law for Florida on
Q: Can a Motion to Suppress be filed due to mistake of law / an unlawful stop?

I was stopped because I did not use my turn signal at a 3 way stop sign, I was on a deserted road, at Midnight. Since no other cars were in site (affected) I know this was an unlawful stop.

When he activated his lights we were on a pitch black, 2 lane road with no shoulder and severe... View More

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
answered on Mar 21, 2024

Please cite the statute that allows you to NOT use your turn signal at a 3 way stop on a deserted road at midnight with no cars in sight. If you can't cite that statute, I'd advise you to not file a motion to suppress. But you do what you think is best for you.

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2 Answers | Asked in Tax Law, Collections and Municipal Law for Connecticut on
Q: I just received a letter from a collection agency for a tax bill from 2009/2010, that I have never been notified of

I had an accountant that was in charge of things, who is now in federal prison and has cost me 22,000 over this time and now I’m looking at another 9,300. Can I do anything? I live in this town and am in there to pay ALL of my taxes a couple of times a year. Not once was I ever told about this

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
answered on Mar 21, 2024

OK, well, either you owe the tax bill because the accountant didn't pay it, or he paid it and the government is wrong. The one thing that is clear is that you cannot rely on "my accountant handled it" to avoid paying a valid tax bill. I think the best course of action is to retain an... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury, Animal / Dog Law and Civil Litigation for Florida on
Q: I do not speak fluent English & require an interpreter. What do I do if opposing attorney wants conference call?

I cannot have a conversation as defendant with plaintiff opposing council as I do not understand English in full or legal terminology spoken in English at all. The opposing attorney is aware of this and I cannot afford attorney and cannot fine any lawyer to help me who is bilingual based on small... View More

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
answered on Mar 19, 2024

You can file anything you like, but the conversation with the attorney is not part of a court proceeding, and the Court is not going to order an interpreter. You can ask the Court for an interpreter for a Court hearing. Otherwise, this is your issue that you need to solve. It's not opposing... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Collections for Kansas on
Q: limited action case from '07. in'14 it says case inactive. this week '24 they garnished my check. is this legal?

shawnee county kansas case number 2007LM020351

its a 2007 case. in 2014 in says case is inactive, then this week in 2024 they garnished my check. is this legal? what can i do about it?

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
answered on Mar 8, 2024

This can be confusing, I'll agree. What likely happened is that the creditor obtained judgment against you. When the judgment is entered the lawsuit is over. Judgments are generally valid for a long time, in many states its 20 years. Usually, a garnishment is a post-judgment action - the... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Collections and Probate for Ohio on
Q: Does my dad's life insurance policy have to go toward medical debt before being dispersed to beneficiary?

My dad passed away last summer. My sister (beneficiary) has been given a check from my father's life insurance policy and we are told the funds will be available in ~2 weeks. However, my dad has a high amount of medical debt left over. Is the life insurance money safe to be used or will... View More

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
answered on Feb 19, 2024

Proceeds from a life insurance policy, where the beneficiary is a named living individual(s), pass outside of the probate process, and the creditors have no claim to it because those proceeds are not part of your dad's estate.

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: I received a letter of non-renewal and would like to know why and whether I can extend the date

My landlord hired a new property management company recently. Everyone in the apartment community received letters on our doors updating us on new payment guidelines.

I am a holdover tenant. Last month, I paid the firm in person and mentioned to them that I had sent via certified mail to... View More

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
answered on Feb 16, 2024

Your lease is expired. You are a holdover. The landlord does not have to give you a reason, although they cannot discriminate against you because of your disability. However, the fact that you are a holdover may be something that the management company does not want to deal with. Also, you have 6... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: Is a tenant required to pay early termination penalty fees if he was given a 7 day notice to vacate in Florida?
Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
answered on Feb 16, 2024

The early termination penalty is meant to compensate the landlord for the loss of rental income on the lease, because the tenant is electing to terminate the lease early. When the landlord terminates the tenancy, the landlord is one taking action to terminate; he is electing by choice to forgo the... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Civil Litigation, Collections and Small Claims for Tennessee on
Q: What do I do now?

Discover Bank/CC is suing me. We already went to court once where their lawyer, before court went into session, tried to get me to agree I owe the debt and make a deal for repayment. I asked for proof I owe it. He showed me 3 copies of statements that showed nothing other than the past due amount.... View More

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
answered on Feb 9, 2024

If you are unwilling to enter into a payment arrangement and cannot afford a lawyer, you can spend the next 4 months learning everything you can about lawyering because you'll be representing yourself. There are three options: agree to a payment plan, consent to a judgment, or defend the lawsuit.

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2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation, Child Support and Family Law for Florida on
Q: Can my wages be garnished if I am a 1099 employee making less than 750 per week. My gross was 33K and AGI is 21K for 23

I am also a stage 4 cancer patient with two children living with me ages 16 and 14

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
answered on Feb 9, 2024

The creditor is entitled to a garnishment. In Florida, the debtor has exemptions to the garnishment action, which the debtor must declare and prove at a hearing on those exemptions. If a garnishment action is filed, the action is directed to the debtor's employer, who must immediately withhold... View More

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3 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Florida on
Q: where can I find collier county florida local court rules. i had a lawyer by pass a hearing by emailing the judge

directly. the judge ruled in favor of their motion to compel discovery before i could even respond. i thought all florida courts allowed for 14 days to repond?

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
answered on Feb 5, 2024

There is no 14 day rule to respond to motions.

Judges are not required to have hearings on matters in which they see no reason to have a hearing; this is especially true on discovery matters when the responding party doesn't object to the discovery within the 30 days and doesn't...
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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Collections and Car Accidents for Mississippi on
Q: How do i pursue action against auto body shop that cashed insurance check and has now filed bankruptcy

My car was involved in an accident in Sept and went to a insurance agent referred shop. The shop owner gave the runaround about waiting for parts for two months. Finally the shop owner said he had 95% of parts and would work on the car. The next month the owner claimed his shop was closing. Fast... View More

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
answered on Jan 23, 2024

Since he has now filed for bankruptcy, you will need to pursue the matter through the bankruptcy court. I recommend that you consult a bankruptcy attorney to determine whether a proof of claim needs to be filed, to get you on the list of creditors, etc. Be aware that you will probably not receive... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Civil Litigation for Florida on
Q: Can I still file a Motion to Enlarge Time to File Response if Plaintiff's attorney has said they wouldn't approve?

Can I just file it with the court, or does opposing counsel have to approve/accept it?

I asked them for a 30 day extension so that I can find adequate counsel and they said they wouldn't allow it.

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
answered on Jan 18, 2024

Yes, that's your only option. Either you or the plaintiff's attorney can set your motion for hearing. "I need more time to find an attorney" is generally not a good reason for the judge to grant your motion. My suggestion is to file your motion, and be working real hard to hire... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Car Accidents and Collections for Virginia on
Q: 10 yr collection from a car accident (I was 16yo). Pay $17,000+ in order to get my license reinstated. Can I fight this?

I was involved in a minor accident at 16 with permit. No injuries or emt required on site. Afterwards, get a letter stating license suspended until payment of $14,000 to GEICO. 10 years have passed and total is now $17,000+. I feel this is unacceptable to ask being that I was a minor and a... View More

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
answered on Jan 11, 2024

The law is that if you cause an accident, you have to pay or face license suspension. The fact that you were a minor, or that you have kids, or you were a student has no bearing on anything. You didn't get a letter - you received a copy of a judgment. The judgment is now 10 years old, and now... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Brothers mortgage sold and new company increased his payment $400 more a month, but he closed two years ago.

He has a finalized contract and has been paying his monthly payment. He called and they said "escrow" amount increased so they had to increase his monthly payment. "Escrow"?? He has signed final papers on his original loan.

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
answered on Dec 27, 2023

Yes, escrow. Escrow is simply a term that basically means money held in reserve. A mortgage payment will increase or decrease over time depending on, generally, the cost of mortgage insurance and property taxes. As the insurance costs change, the mortgage payment will change and the mortgage... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation for Florida on
Q: Do I HAVE to provide my SSN on form1.977 or is there a way around it? Defendant is my stalker.

Do I HAVE to provide my SSN on form1.977 or is there a way around it? Defendant is my stalker and obsessed with causing problems for me, he can not be trusted with my SSN.

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
answered on Dec 23, 2023

Technically yes, but if you don't, the other party has to bring that issue to the Court on a motion to compel, and the Court would likely have a hearing on the motion. You could then explain the situation and hopefully the court would side with you.

Sounds you sued the defendant, the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: I have a disagreement with my condo HOA about who is responsible for a leak and damage. How should I proceed?

There is a leak inside the floor-ceiling cavity that has been there for at least two years that has caused significant water damage to the unit below. The leak is just past the p-trap under my tub and has just been found. I believe our condo docs are clear that the rough plumbing in the walls is... View More

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
answered on Dec 22, 2023

You are wise to seek legal advice before writing a letter. However, online internet forums are not the place to get actionable legal advice. My suggestion is to retain an attorney knowledgeable in condo law or perhaps in construction law (probably a toss-up as to which is "better"). Any... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Collections on
Q: I had a judgement filed against me in MA in 2010, by Target/TD bank.

I don't recall why I ever stopped making agreed upon payments per the court. 13 years later, a debt collector is attempting to collect this debt. My question: If the judgement was in favor of the original creditor, but not the subsequent debt collector, has the statue of limitations risen from... View More

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
answered on Dec 11, 2023

Judgments are valid as specified by statute. Apparently in Massachusetts, its 20 years. Once a judgment is obtained, the judgment can be sold a dozen times and the judgment remains enforceable. You may be confusing the statute of limitation within which to bring suit (6 years apparently) with the... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Civil Litigation, Contracts and Collections for Louisiana on
Q: What is the maximum finance fee or interest rate I can charge my customer on overdue invoices in Louisiana?

I sell goods in a business to business setting. Most of my customers are on Net 30 day payment term accounts. I have a customer that is months past due on a large balance. My credit application states in short that "we have the right to charge a 1.5% finance charge on past due invoices. They... View More

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
answered on Dec 9, 2023

Your contractual interest is limited by statute. This is "business owner 101". I recommend that you retain an attorney on a professional basis to take a look at your invoices and contracts to ensure that you are complying with Louisiana law, and to be your "go-to" guy when you... View More

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