Over the years, I get a few clients who told me that they didn't expect a wage garnishment because the creditor who sued them did not attempt to collect from a judgment for over 8 years. First, they ignore the threatening letters. Then, they ignore the service of the summons and complaints aka lawsuit. Finally, they ignore the judgment because they told me that nothing terrible has happen to them so far so they don't expect anything to occur from the judgment. Big mistake.
I explain to them there is a reason that creditors spend the time and money to hire an attorney to file a lawsuit and obtain a judgment. The consequences of a judgment to debtors is that their wages can be garnished, bank accounts can be levied, and liens can be recorded against their real property such as house, land or other real estates.
Keep in mind that a judgment in California can last 10 years but judgment can be renewed for another 10 years and thereafter. Sometime, a creditor my lose track over the decades and may forget to renew it. However, usually they will attempt to collect on the debt within the initial 10 years.
This means that debtors are still face the danger of wage garnishment, bank levy, and real property lien or real estate lien.
The advice here is never ignore a lawsuit. A better advice is never ignore a threatening letter from your creditor so that you have more time to explore your options. If you believe that the debt is in error, do not ignore it hoping that it will correct itself because once the creditor obtain a judgment, you are subject to a wage garnishment, bank levy and real estate lien.
If you find that you cannot afford to pay off your debt and maintain a minimal standard of living, you might want to consider Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. To determine if the debt can be discharged or reduced in Bankruptcy, schedule a Bankruptcy consultation with experienced Sacramento Bankruptcy Attorney Muoi Chea in the main office located in Sacramento, California. She accepts consumer and small business bankruptcy cases through Northern and Central California: from Vallejo or Fairfield to Stockton or Modesto, California and from Tracy to Yuba, Roseville or Rocklin California.