I Live in Wisconsin and Disabled. Can a Creditor Sue Me Again for the Same Debt? – Wendy

“Dear Steve,

I had a credit card from Capital One back in 2003(?) or 2004(?)…. In a short time, I was not able to pay on it because I ended up having to apply for Disability. So they went through the normal trying to collect, then finally, took me to court (which I was not able to make it to, and also this is the ONLY judgement I have ever had).

They ended up putting a judgement against me for a little over $4,000 (for a $500 credit limit) and was adjusted a couple months later because the OVER charged me on interest…. so the judgement, in the end was put in for a little over $2,500 in 2008.

Now, I had a few calls from the “LAWYERS” office who I assumed bought the debt from Capital One after the judgement, and I explained that I was not able to pays this now because I was on Disability. He said I would have to fill out a form every 6 months stating that I was still on Disability, which I did, until THEY stopped sending me the form.

Please keep in mind I also got married 2 months after I was sued. NOW, a couple of months after I filed for divorce, I started getting a couple of letters from this law firm again telling me to contact them, or they will be forced to take further action. I never contacted them.

Then a couple of weeks ago, I was served a paper that I was to appear in front of the court commissioner near where I live. I called the commissioner and asked if I could appear by phone because I no longer had a car and am not able to get there. He told me to contact the law firm and talk to them. I did so, and they of course started with the when can I pay etc, I ONCE again said…. I am NOT able to pay at this time due to my situation and also because I was going through a divorce, if I had the money, I would gladly pay, but at this time I am lucky to have $2-$5 dollars left after paying my every month bills.

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They proceeded to ask me how much I get for disability, how much were my utilities, how do I have a checking acct, I said yes, they asked with who, I said I am NOT disclosing this information…. They asked how much rent do I pay…. I asked why do you need all this information, she got ignorant and said “WE NEED IT FOR THE COURTS”. So once I was done, she said she was having someone look it over, and never told me whether or not I could appear for court by phone. Oh, and one last thing, she also said that my balance was over $3,000…. I asked…. How is that when the judgement was a little over $2,500…. she said because there was a 12% interest added I believe she said for being late. I live in Wisconsin

My question is….

1. What can happen if I am not able to pay yet

2. Can they sue me again

3. What happens if I cant get to the commissioner

4. Is it legal to add a percentage for interest on this

5. Can they take money out of my checking/savings account or freeze it…. (I have $5 in savings, and the only money I have in checking is what I get for disability, which it all goes for current bills


Dear Wendy,

I’m not an attorney and not specifically familiar with the rules in Wisconsin but I can at least give you some general guidance.

Wisconsin has a little known and somewhat unusual tool to help people avoid problem debt. It’s called a Chapter 128 action. This can discharge your debt and give you creditor protection while you attempt to resolve your debt.

For more on this see the advice the State Bar of Wisconsin offers.

A judgment can earn interest and I believe the interest rate is 12 percent in Wisconsin.

They could not sue you again for the same debt.

The primary issue here is that if your sole income is based on disability income then you need to make that clear.

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According to this website, in Wisconsin, “Debtors who have been receiving or have been determined eligible for any need-based public assistance (examples: W-2, Food Stamps, Medical Assistance, SSI) within six months prior to a garnishment are protected from garnishment.”

I would again check with the local court that is contacting you and ask about alternatives for attendance due to your disability and lack of transportation. You can also check with your local county government that might provide transportation assistance for those with mobility disabilities.

I would strongly suggest you contact Legal Action of Wisconsin for specific legal advice and assistance.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.


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2 thoughts on “I Live in Wisconsin and Disabled. Can a Creditor Sue Me Again for the Same Debt? – Wendy”

  1. Hi Steve,

    Thank you so much for your response, as well as the resources. I had called the commissioner to see about the transportation issue, and I was told to call the law firm who is bringing action to me to discuss the matter of me not being able to be present in person. I am going to look over the information you left, and I will update you on the outcome of all this. Funny thing is…. If I remember correctly, I had signed up for the Credit protection when getting this card, and when I contacted them about me not working any longer, they told me that I could NOT use the protection that I had been PAYING for during the time of I had card because I was not fired from my job; I had explained I had to QUIT due to my health issues, and that I was applying for disability. Again Thank you, I will post my results when they come about…. This would be my 2nd question I have had to ask you in the last 4 years, and you helped me tremendously in the past, I expect nothing but the same for this situation


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