Washington Debt Relief
Washington state Credit Card Debt law limits the time that a creditor may sue a debtor over open-ended Credit Card Debt to a period of 3 years. This Statute of Limitations (SOL) starts when the debtor first misses a scheduled payment. However, any subsequent partial payments resent the time limit from the new payment date. A summons allows the debtor 20 days from being served to file an answer with the court. To ensure timely delivery, a response should be sent by certified mail. Otherwise, the creditor may win by default.
Washington state judgments can be executed for 10 years and may be extended another 10 years if needed. The judgment automatically becomes a lien on the debtor’s real property, which lasts as long as the judgment remains in effect. Residents are given a homestead exemption of $40,000, but that exemption could be unlimited when used on retirement plan benefits against income taxes. Wages can be garnished in Washington up to 25% of disposable income or the amount exceeding 30 times the federal minimum hourly wage.
Washington residents should be cautious of credit card agreements that contain a clause for “judgment by confession.” This contract language gives the creditor automatic rights to enforce the debt as if it were a judgment, when presented to the Superior Court and found sufficient.
One way to manage debt that has been taken to court is to arrange for interest free payments under a Debt Settlement plan. Consumers should consider this option ahead of bankruptcy.