Tampa, FL asked in Collections for Florida

Q: Can Collection lawyers proceed with debt collection if they did not prove a debt never responded to verification letter?

A default judgment was filed in court in2003 for credit card debt .Writ of execution issued while I was living abroad . First notice I received three months ago when my bank account was put on hold and instantly drained to the last penny never knew before about the judgment until I received a letter from the bank advising me to call the court and the plaintiffs lawyer who sent me a summary of the debt after I updated them with my address.I mailed them two certified letters to prove the debt and asked them to send me original documents of the debt and the contract I signed with the bank to verify if the debt belongs to me or not they never responded . Three months passed and I still don’t know if the debt is mine . Can they proceed with collection.What do you advise me to do?

Related Topics:
2 Lawyer Answers
Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
Answered
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Orlando, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Yes they do it all the time, whether it is legal or not doesn't matter as they get a default judgment and the judges just blindly sign whatever the collector puts in front of them, it is like a conveyor belt of submitted garbage and trash from these collections companies that turn into cash. They break the rules all the time and the judges just sign the documents unless you are there represented and respond and push back. These collections are just increasing by the day as it is big money for these debt buyers, hardly anyone defends themselves (like you not showing up and likely giving them an easy default judgment that quickly turns into a garnishment). You have to be on top of things and responsive and timely and demand within the timeframes, otherwise you get exactly what you get here and like I said, not a judge would think twice about signing these defaults, no matter how faulty service of process was or document are inadequate if you are not there to fight. If you qualify you can claim exempt as head of household if you make less than $750 per week, otherwise you need to get a lawyer and see if you can reopen things or request a rehearing and so forth. The collections machine from third parties is just speeding up weekly and this is just the way it is nowadays if you do not fight them every inch of the way.

Bruce Alexander Minnick agrees with this answer

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
Answered
  • Collections Lawyer
  • Jacksonville, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: There's no verification necessary after the judgment is entered in most cases. Somebody accepted service on your behalf in 2003, and that's all that's really important. Whoever that person was apparently didn't notify you, but that's not the creditor's issue. The fact is that a judgment is valid for 20 years, and you don't get advance notice of a garnishment. The creditor does not need to prove the case 17 years after judgment is entered.

However, now that your account has been garnished, the clerk and or the plaintiff's attorney is required to furnish you a notice of your rights and a form to elect any of several statutory exemptions which you may have to the garnishment, and to ask for a hearing on the exemption. The plaintiff's attorney will send you a copy of the motion for the writ of garnishment and the writ. After the bank answers the writ, plaintiff's attorney will send you a copy of the bank's answer and will inform you that you have 20 days to move to dissolve the writ (that's the form I mentioned a couple of lines up).

The creditor is entitled to garnishment; you must prove that you have the exemption (i.e., evidence, not mere testimony). The plaintiff does not have to prove jack. If the Court finds in your favor, the writ will be dissolved and any money retained by the bank will be returned to your account. That hearing is not the place to try to litigate the judgment from 2003.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.