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How can I stop garnishment resulting from a default judgement?

Discussion in 'Alternative Dispute Resolution' started by Lani_Bordallo, Apr 5, 2007.

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  1. Lani_Bordallo

    Lani_Bordallo Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Please help me decide what I should do....
    I lived in Seattle for about 4 years and then moved back home to Guam in 2003. While in
    Seattle my roommate helped me buy a car because my credit was less than favorable. She was named as the principle buyer and I was the co-buyer.

    When I decided to move I still had a balance of $11,000 on the car. I called the bank and asked if I could ship the car to Guam and continue the payments. Their response was that my roommate (the principal owner) had to agree to it. Well, she didn't... for the next couple of months I tried to sell the car to no avail. I left for Guam and continued to make
    the monthly payments until the car was sold.

    My roommate said the most she could get was $7,000 and that she would have to draw from her personal account to satisfy the remaining balance of $4,000. We agreed that I could make monthly payments of $200 towards the $4,000. I requested copies of the Bill
    of Sale and the Paid in Full documents from the bank. She never (to this day) complied.

    I must mention that issues arose between us not related to this one, that caused a rift between us and resentment brewed as we tried to work something out. She insisted that
    she had already sent me the documents that I requested, and when I asked her to resend them she refused. I told her that until I get those documents I will not begin making the payments.

    She began legal proceedings... I wrote to the presiding judge in Seattle and explained that
    I believe she refinanced the auto loan using her excellent credit which brought the balance down to $7,000, and although no money came out of her pocket, her resentment towards me directed her to make me pay for using her good credit. In addition, I told the judge that she was confident I would lose by default because there was no way I could fly back to Seattle nor did I have the money to hire an attorney to represent me.

    The judge in Seattle issued a default judgment and ordered me to pay $9,000. Then she retained a law firm here to file for garnishment of my wages. I was served the complaint but was unable to get representation in time.

    Here is my question??? Of the following choices, which do you think will be my best chance to take care of this and put it behind me without losing more money?
    Option 1 - hire an attorney to countersue or what ever is needed
    Option 2 - offer her half of the amount in cash and put this to rest... this option might not
    fly as she is very vindictive and the one balloon payment is not as attractive to
    her as seeing me suffer is.
    Option 3 - request lowering the garnishment of 25% of my disposable income twice a

    If anyone out there has other options that may be open to me that I have not thought of,
    please enlighten me as I am desperate here.... I am caregiver for my 89 year old mother, as well as the major provider for my three grandsons.
    Thank you so much for your time and advice.
    Lani Bordallo
  2. crismld

    crismld New Member

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    First: How do you know they are opting for wage garnishment?
    Second- With a Default Judgment, or any Judgment for that matter; I think the other party doesn't have to agree to any settlement for a less amount.

    I can say that waiting a long period of time without satisfying a debt ; followed by a default judgment doesn't look good from your standpoint.

    You could also contact the Plaintiff/ or Plaintiffs' attorney to try and work out an arrangement directly with them. This would be less costly from your standpoint.
    (as opposed to hiring a lawyer from your end)...
  3. seniorjudge

    seniorjudge Super Moderator

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    Based solely on the facts as stated in your post, none of the options are available to you since you have already given them up.

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