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Author Topic: Help!  (Read 1237 times)

Pegasus

  • Guest
Help!
« on: Feb 02, 2004, 08:48:00 PM »
Ok, here is the situation.  My husband went to court this past July to try to get custody of his daughter.  We ended up losing, but that is beside the point.  From the beginning our attorney knew that money would be hard for us to come by all at once.  She was very understanding at that point.  

Well after court and the order was finalized, etc  she sent us our bill.  It was almost $2000.00, which is pretty much what we expected.  Shortly after receiving the bill my husband got word he would have to deploy to Iraq.  Well, this meant that we would not be making as much money each month as we would have.  My husband spoke with our attorney about making arrangements for us to pay $100.00 a month and if we could do more at times then we would.  Attorney agreed and understood.  

When dh went through the transition from his regular job to Army pay he went almost an entire month without a paycheck!  We were behind on all of our bills, house, car, electric, phone, etc.  There was no way we could pay our attorney at this time.  Our attorney sent us another itemized statement.    Then, the next thing I know I have a detective trying to serve papers on me where attorney is taking my husband to court for her money.  The detective asked if my dh was home, I told him no and actually he had been deployed.  The man was very nice and said then he would not serve those papers to me and that our attorney should know that she can't do that while he is deployed.  Granted we should have at least payed her something by now and we fully understand the reasoning for the lawsuit, but we just flat out don't have the money right now to pay her.  We know that we will have to pay this debt and rightfully we should.  We are not even treading water again yet.  I definately do not have the money to pay another attorney to fight this one.  Last week a different man served me the papers, but he did it so fast I couldn't get a word in before he was gone.  Here are my questions.

1.  My name was nowhere on the papers served, will I be held responsible in court?

2.  Should I try to contact this attorney myself to try to settle this out of court?  I was not sure if that was a good idea since she has an attorney.  I will be able to start paying at the end of this month.

3.  Can she do this while dh is away/deployed?  The Sailor's Soldier's Relief Act covers these things doesn't it?

4.  I know that I have like 20 days from the service of the papers to file a response.  Can I do that myself or should I?

5.  What happens if I don't file a response by then?  

I am just at a loss.  Don't have a clue what to do.  Any help at all will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Peg


Peanutsdad

  • Guest
RE: Help!
« Reply #1 on: Feb 03, 2004, 05:26:50 AM »
>Ok, here is the situation.  My husband went to court this
>past July to try to get custody of his daughter.  We ended up
>losing, but that is beside the point.  From the beginning our
>attorney knew that money would be hard for us to come by all
>at once.  She was very understanding at that point.  
>
>Well after court and the order was finalized, etc  she sent us
>our bill.  It was almost $2000.00, which is pretty much what
>we expected.  Shortly after receiving the bill my husband got
>word he would have to deploy to Iraq.  Well, this meant that
>we would not be making as much money each month as we would
>have.  My husband spoke with our attorney about making
>arrangements for us to pay $100.00 a month and if we could do
>more at times then we would.  Attorney agreed and understood.
>
>
>When dh went through the transition from his regular job to
>Army pay he went almost an entire month without a paycheck!
>We were behind on all of our bills, house, car, electric,
>phone, etc.  There was no way we could pay our attorney at
>this time.  Our attorney sent us another itemized statement.  
> Then, the next thing I know I have a detective trying to
>serve papers on me where attorney is taking my husband to
>court for her money.  The detective asked if my dh was home, I
>told him no and actually he had been deployed.  The man was
>very nice and said then he would not serve those papers to me
>and that our attorney should know that she can't do that while
>he is deployed.  Granted we should have at least payed her
>something by now and we fully understand the reasoning for the
>lawsuit, but we just flat out don't have the money right now
>to pay her.  We know that we will have to pay this debt and
>rightfully we should.  We are not even treading water again
>yet.  I definately do not have the money to pay another
>attorney to fight this one.  Last week a different man served
>me the papers, but he did it so fast I couldn't get a word in
>before he was gone.  Here are my questions.
>
>1.  My name was nowhere on the papers served, will I be held
>responsible in court?

If your name isnt on em, then nope. You have to be named a party in the suit in order to be held accountable. In fact, should they actually TRY to impose any penalties on you due to HIS lawsuit, you have legal recourse yourself.
>
>2.  Should I try to contact this attorney myself to try to
>settle this out of court?  I was not sure if that was a good
>idea since she has an attorney.  I will be able to start
>paying at the end of this month.

It would be better if your DH contacts her and tries to settle the matter. Unless you have POA from him authorizing you to make his legal decisions while deployed.
>
>3.  Can she do this while dh is away/deployed?  The Sailor's
>Soldier's Relief Act covers these things doesn't it?

Have DH put THIS question to JAG where he is currently stationed. They will be best able to answer.
>
>4.  I know that I have like 20 days from the service of the
>papers to file a response.  Can I do that myself or should I?


If DH is named, and you are not, and you do not have a POA from him, you cannot file a response for him. He really needs to get with JAG, and contact this attrny.
>
>5.  What happens if I don't file a response by then?  


If he doesnt file a response , and she or the court are not convinced to wait til he has returned from deployment, its entirely possible that a default judgement will be entered against him.
Essentially, she will be awarded the original debt, and the cost of suing. That would be lumped into one sum judgement. Now, what happens then? Not much,, they cant attach or garnish his wages for a suit judgement. What they can do is slap a lein against say,, a home you both own, ( but if its jointly owned and they do that, you file an injured spouse claim, and get half the equity exempted from the lien), they can do the same with any other properties he or both of you own.
>
>I am just at a loss.  Don't have a clue what to do.  Any help
>at all will be greatly appreciated.


Good luck ,, keep us posted.
>
>Thanks,
>
>Peg

Indigo Mom

  • Guest
RE: Also....
« Reply #2 on: Feb 03, 2004, 08:43:05 AM »
If he doesn't show, and no one "shows" the court he wasn't served, then the default judgment will be handed down.  The garnishment?  Ain't gonna be small.  It's best your husband tend to this business right quick so you're able to send small monthly payments rather than a HUGE garnishment.

My ex attorney pulled some bullshit with me and my dad...she ended up losing everything.  Because she was such an ass about the serving, and such an idiot at the hearing for my bill...I ended up not owing her ONE cent.  Quite hilarious, I must say....LOLOL

 

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