Asked in Contracts and Collections for Maryland

Q: Is it legal to garnish my pay check for a broken lease that I signed in 2003, now in 2019?

I signed a lease March 2003 for move in date April 2003 I wrote a letter stating I would not be moving in the appointment was still rented out that April to someone else. 2012 the rental company came after me for payment, then again I’m 2015 now I’m 2019 my check is being garnished for this almost 16yr old debt .

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2 Lawyer Answers
Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick
  • Collections Lawyer
  • Tallahassee, FL

A: Unless you are omitting salient facts the answer is no. Challenge it.

Cedulie Renee Laumann
Cedulie Renee Laumann
  • Crownsville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: Is there a judgment?

Garnishment does not usually happen unless there was a court case and a judgment. Judgments are good for 12 years in this state, and can be renewed for additional 12 year terms. Most, but not all, cases need to be filed within 3 years.

So if hypothetically someone stopped paying on an obligation in 2010 and their creditor filed suit in 2012, won and got a judgment in 2013, the judgment would be good until 2025 (and if renewed, for another 12 years after that).

While not legal advice I hope this general information helps.

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