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Debt Defense Attorneys in Pennsylvania
Debt Defense Attorneys in Pennsylvania
Facing a Creditor Lawsuit in PA?
At Graham & Borgese, we understand the overwhelming stress and fear that can arise from being sued for a debt. That's why we are dedicated to making the process as easy and stress-free as possible. We recognize that individuals dealing with debt-related issues may lack the financial means to fight their creditors.
Therefore, we offer highly affordable rates and flexible payment plans to all our clients. Our primary goal is to resolve your debt issues rather than exacerbate them. We will guide you through the entire process, presenting all available options so that you can make an informed decision tailored to your specific circumstances.
If you are currently facing a debt lawsuit in Pennsylvania, please call our offices today at (888) 801-7765 to schedule a complimentary consultation.
Pennsylvania Debt Lawsuit Information
When being sued by a credit card company, bank, debt buyer, or credit union in Pennsylvania, it's crucial to understand your legal obligations.
In Pennsylvania, when you are served with a Summons and Complaint, you have 20 days to file your response. This response is called an "Answer." It is important to adhere to this deadline to avoid the risk of a default judgment being entered against you.
Your Answer must address all the allegations made in the Complaint and assert any valid Affirmative Defenses that may apply to the lawsuit. Failure to file your Answer within this timeframe can result in a default judgment entered against you, which is tantamount to losing the case.
Moreover, inadequate response or failure to present proper arguments puts your case at risk of being lost outright. We strongly recommend engaging an attorney to handle both the response to the Summons and Complaint and the filing of your Answer. An experienced and knowledgeable Pennsylvania debt defense attorney will ensure that your Answer is correctly formulated and filed with the appropriate court, preventing a default judgment.
Ignoring the lawsuit is the worst course of action. Avoidance does not make the problem disappear; it only worsens the situation. A default judgment allows the creditor to pursue remedies to collect on the judgment.
In Pennsylvania, a creditor who has obtained a judgment against you may garnish your wages. The maximum amount that can be garnished depends on your disposable earnings, which are the earnings left after deductions required by law (such as taxes and Social Security). The following limits apply:
- If your disposable earnings are less than 30 times the federal minimum wage per week (currently $7.25), your wages cannot be garnished.
- If your disposable earnings are between 30 and 40 times the federal minimum wage per week, only the amount exceeding 30 times the minimum wage can be garnished.
- If your disposable earnings are more than 40 times the federal minimum wage per week, the greater of the following can be garnished:
- 10% of your disposable earnings, or
- The amount by which your disposable earnings exceed 40 times the minimum wage.
In Pennsylvania, a creditor who has obtained a judgment against you has the ability to pursue a bank levy to collect the outstanding debt. A bank levy allows the creditor to seize funds from your bank accounts to satisfy the judgment amount. However, it's important to note that the process for bank levies in Pennsylvania requires strict adherence to legal procedures.
- Court Order: Before a creditor can execute a bank levy, they must first obtain a court order. This order authorizes the creditor to access your bank accounts and seize funds.
- Notification: Once the court order is obtained, the creditor must provide you with notice of the impending bank levy. Typically, this notice includes information about the judgment, the amount owed, and the deadline for responding.
- Exemptions: Certain funds may be exempt from a bank levy in Pennsylvania. These exemptions protect specific types of income, such as Social Security benefits, unemployment compensation, and certain retirement benefits. It's important to consult with an attorney to understand which exemptions may apply in your situation.
- Freeze and Seize: Once the bank levy is initiated, the creditor contacts your bank, and the bank is required to freeze the funds in your accounts. The frozen funds are then turned over to the creditor to satisfy the judgment.
- Bank Levy Challenges: If you believe that the bank levy is improper or that certain funds are exempt, you have the right to challenge the levy. This typically involves filing legal motions and presenting evidence to support your case.
In Pennsylvania, creditors have the ability to place property liens on real estate owned by a debtor. A property lien is a legal claim against the property that gives the creditor the right to satisfy the debt from the proceeds when the property is sold or refinanced.
- Judgment and Execution: To obtain a property lien, a creditor must first obtain a judgment against the debtor through a lawsuit. Once a judgment is obtained, the creditor can proceed with the execution process, which may include placing a lien on the debtor's property.
- Notice and Recording: Before a property lien is established, the creditor must provide notice to the debtor about the intention to place a lien on their property. After providing notice, the creditor will typically record the lien with the county recorder's office where the property is located. Recording the lien creates a public record and alerts potential buyers or lenders of the debt.
- Priority and Effect: Property liens establish the creditor's right to collect the debt from the proceeds of a property sale or refinancing. The lien may affect the debtor's ability to sell or refinance the property without first satisfying the debt. It's important to note that property liens are generally prioritized based on the order of recording, meaning earlier recorded liens will have priority over later recorded ones.
- Property Sale and Debt Satisfaction: If the debtor decides to sell the property, the creditor with a property lien will have the right to claim the amount owed from the sale proceeds. The lien must be satisfied before the debtor can transfer clear title to the buyer. Similarly, if the debtor seeks to refinance the property, the creditor's lien must be addressed as part of the refinancing process.
“I spoke with Kris Graham who was very nice and answered all of my questions.” - Christina P.
“I was so grateful for their straightforward communication as they explained the options I had ahead of me.” - Heather F.
“I cannot believe how quickly Kris Graham and Frank Borgese settled my case!” - Bill S.
Our firm specializes in debt-related matters, specifically defending consumers against debt lawsuits in Pennsylvania. This focus grants us the necessary knowledge and experience to help you fight back against your creditors. We boast a track record of success, having aided thousands of consumers in resolving their debt-related issues.
By retaining our services, our Pennsylvania debt defense lawyers will enable you to:
- Avoid dealing with aggressive debt collectors or credit card companies on your own.
- Eliminate the need to appear in court personally.
- Avoid the complexities of legal processes and procedures.
- Prevent a judgment from being entered against you.
- Obtain proper verification of your debt before settling.
- Secure a fair and reasonable settlement that suits your financial situation.
- Safeguard your credit report from damaging judgments that can severely impact your credit score.
- Prevent wage garnishment.
- Protect your bank accounts from being frozen.
- Safeguard your property from liens that impede the sale of your home.