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     Many people who stop paying their credit card bills and other debts eventually find themselves at the wrong end of a lawsuit.  The creditor or perhaps a debt buyer after collection attempts such as phone calls and threatening letters fails to bring in payment from the borrower decides to file a lawsuit for money damages.  These collection lawsuits are very common and the Judgments from the lawsuits are enforceable in California for 20 years.

     As a bankruptcy attorney people tend to meet with me after they have already been sued and even after a judgment has been entered.  Sometimes, the people are not aware that they were even sued at all.  I find that this is often the case because when debt starts to become overwhelming people stop opening their mail.  Big mistake!  Once the judgment is entered there are three collection methods a creditor can use.  The judgment creditor can garnish wages, levy bank accounts, and place liens on the borrower's property. 

     Fortunately, filing bankruptcy can stop the judgment creditor from collecting on the debt.  Wage garnishments must stop, bank accounts cannot be levied, and liens can no longer be place while the bankruptcy is pending and after the discharge is entered.  Although bankruptcy is not always the best option I find that when a person has allowed the debt to get to this level often times filing bankruptcy is the correct action to take.  It is very important that a person seek the assistance of knowledgeable bankruptcy counsel before proceeding.

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