Q: I got a writ of garnishment in the mail and I can not contact the creditor. They but dialed me but ignore my voicemails.
I don't know what it is for and they are about to take money from me for I don't know what. It is from VA and I haven't lived there for six years. It looks like it is about an apartment complex in Hopewell VA but I never had an apartment in Hopewell. What am I supposed to do since I can not find out what is going on????
A: On the paperwork received, there should be a case number and court identified. Contact that court to find out what's going on. If they are garnishing, that means they already have a judgment against you (a court order that you owe them money) - it's likely a default judgment (entered after notice was given but you didn't respond). Please keep in mind that it's common for a long period of time to occur between judgments and collection actions, so the judgment you're actually looking for could have been entered six years ago.
If they have a default judgment against you, it's unlikely whomever is garnishing now (and it could be a different entity since debts are often sold or assigned) will be very motivated to settle; you carry the burden of convincing the court to set aside the judgment - which is not easy and requires more than just "I didn't know about it", and they now obviously know where they can get their money unless or until you are able to do something about it.
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