aloha and welcome my name is Marty Berger a local attorney and the owner of hawaii debt solutions a federally recognized full-service debt relief agency so please note that this video was created specifically for hawaii residents and it is just general information is not to be taken as legal advice so today I’m going to talk to you about how to stop wage garnishments and bank seizures so what I’ll do on this video is I’ll tell you a little bit about this process because the process is actually a three-part process and what i did so you understand that this is actually the third part of a three video series so what I’ve done is I’ve explained the three different parts of the series and what it is just so you understand is that the first part is what i call the pre-litigation period and then there’s the litigation period and then there is the third stage which is the garnishments and bank seizures so you’re probably familiar with the first stage this is where you haven’t been sued but collection agents are calling you they’re they’re threatening to sue you now this is the time where if you have some money socked away or if you know you can make some installments now’s the time to make a deal you can make a deal while you’re in court at the litigation process but the time is really crunched up make you deal now if you can now you can either do this on your own or you can do it with some negotiator now if you are going to do this on your own please do not tell them do the best you can not to tell them who your employer is or where your bank accounts are they’re going to try to get that information from you because if you do that and you cannot work a deal with these people you just fast track the garnishment process okay now if you’re thinking about trying to find somebody who’s going to do this for you you might want to take a look at my video on how to hire a debt negotiator or consolidator and by the way if you want to stop the collection agent calls i also have a video that will show you how to stop the collection agent calls on your own you won’t need anybody for that okay let’s say you could not work a deal a pre-lawsuit so what’s going to happen is eventually you’re going to get sued you can still negotiate the problem here is that the court process moves along very quickly and so that is going to kind of put some pressure on the whole deal now if you want to apply a little more pressure and get a little more leverage what you can do is you can file a legal document called an answer what that basically says to the creditor is hey you got to prove that you owe me owe this money okay they don’t want to necessarily do that so that’ll give you a little bit of leverage at that point though if you cannot work a deal with these folks in all likelihood the judge is going to grant them a judgment it’s called and at that point once they get the judgment they can then go forward to the final and third stage which is the garnishment seizure stage at this point you’re really not going to know when this process is going to start it could happen in days weeks months it can happen even in years so what you really want to do is you want to get right on taking some action right away for instance creditors can seize bank accounts with the exception of actually a little bit of social security money they can take all the money that’s in your bank account it doesn’t matter if it’s a joint bank account so what you want to do right now is really think about your whole banking process in terms of how much money you want to keep in there how you want to handle everything the problem with the wage garnishment action is that you’re not going to know that you were garnished until the day that you get your paycheck and you see that it’s about 25 percent lighter and that there’s this little uh line item in your deductions and it’s going to say garnishment and that is because a creditor is not required by law to give you notice that they’re about to garnish your wages and they give the notice to your employer and your employer is immediately required to start deducting this money so how do you stop them basically if you’ve watched some of my videos before you know that i like to give people options on how to handle situations unfortunately in this situation there’s really only one solution and that is bankruptcy now bankruptcy is available to everyone really it doesn’t matter how much money you earn how many assets you have or who you owe the debt to once you file bankruptcy you get something known as an automatic stay what that is is it’s a court order that prevents your creditors from doing anything to try to get their money without getting permission from the court it’s very powerful it’s not going to just stop the garnishments it’s going to stop any collection agent calls but it’ll also stop lawsuits so really that’s about it I’ve told you about the process I’ve told you in depth about the garnishment and seizure procedure i’ve told you how to stop it and if you’d like a free no obligation consultation about your options feel free to give me a call you can email me you can fill out the little form on the site on this page here I’ve helped thousands of people over the last 25 years i suspect i can help you as well now there is one thing i do want to tell you and that is that as you guys know this covid crisis has really created a financial crisis for the folks here in hawaii so if you um if you know you have a problem you really should see somebody as soon as you can because all the qualified lawyers soon are going to be get really very busy and they may not be able to see everybody that they want to see so that’s it thanks and thanks for watching and have a great day
Today I am going to talk to you about COVID related eviction moratoriums.
First I’ll tell you what the status of the law as it stands today, then prepare you for the transfer from state protection to federal protection and then I will give you a couple of ideas on how to proceed once the moratoriums are lifted.
As of today, the state the eviction moratorium is in place until November 30, 2020. This means that no matter what he says, your landlord cannot evict you because you did not pay rent. However, you can still be evicted for other reasons, for instance if your unit is unfit for occupancy.
Also, last month the federal government ordered a federal moratorium, which lasts until December 31st. As long as the state moratorium is in effect, this one is not important as the state moratorium is more generous. However, since it is very possible that the governor will not extend the state moratorium, you should get prepared now to take advantage of the federal moratorium.
I say prepared because this moratorium requires you to meet certain requirements in order to qualify for it. All of these requirements are laid out in a declaration that the government prepared that you will need to sign and give to your landlord. You can find that here.( I will send you the pdf and/or you can use this
The declaration is two pages long and there are 5 statements you will need to declare are true. The only one I want to mention now is the first one since that is the one that may take some time to complete: I have used best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing. If you have not already done this, I suggest you go to the legal aid website at legalaidhawaii.org and in the middle of that page you will see a section about covid resources, click that and you will see a link to rental assistance programs – (or they can go here, if you think that is better – https://www.legalaidhawaii.org/i-cant-pay-my-rent-mortgage.html
If it looks like the governor is not going to extend the state moratorium after November 30, I will make a new video going over the declaration in detail as well discuss all of the other issues related to the federal moratorium. I’ll put that video up in place of this video so you can just bookmark this page.
Since I do not expect any moratorium will be in place after December 31st, now is the time to start planning for that date. There are two issues that need to be resolved – what to do about housing and what to do about all the past due rent that you owe since neither moratorium waived your obligation to pay rent.
I feel the best way to handle both of these issues is to talk to your landlord about working an agreement. For example, you could make a deal whereby you would leave at a certain date in exchange for him waiving the right to collect past due rent. By working out an agreement not only will you not owe rent, but you will also not have an eviction on your record making it much easier to find a landlord willing to rent to you.
Or you could work out an agreement where you will stay and pay the rent and pay a bit of the past due amount each month.
These are just 2 examples. In the current environment, I feel many landlords will be willing to make deals they would not have agreed to in the past.
However, if your landlord won’t deal with you and you also have a significant amount of other debt, you may want to consider talking to a bankruptcy lawyer. While I wouldn’t suggest filing bankruptcy just because of an eviction, filing bankruptcy will not only temporarily stop any active eviction legal proceedings but it will also resolve all of your other debt issues at the same time.
If you would like to talk to me about your eviction and debt situation, feel free to call or email me. I’m happy to give you a free no obligation consultation to discuss your options.
Finally, as you know, the covid crisis has become a financial crisis for many folks in Hawaii. As a result, soon all of the qualified debt relief and bankruptcy lawyers in town are going to be very busy and may not have time to help everybody they want to help, so if you know you are in trouble, I urge you to talk to someone as soon as possible.
Thanks and have a great day.