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Warrant in Debt Questions & Answers – From People Like You

While most of what you need to know is on the home page of this site, we know that sometimes you have more questions.

Here’s some more information that may help you.

If you’re worried about receiving court papers, then you should probably contact us ASAP. We want to help!

What you need to know when you get a warrant in debt

Beating a Warrant in Debt

Can I go to Jail if I Ignore this Summons?

Do You Need to Change Banks?

Before bankruptcy: Three Reasons to Change Banks

Leslie Beats a Debt collector in court

Bankruptcy discharge or “charge off?” What’s the difference?

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{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

Shana R August 9, 2012 at 9:53 pm

I have a question. I got a warrant in debt for van that I got in feb 2008. My ex-husband was driving th van and fell a sleep behind the wheel. So he mess up the van. Also come to find out he wasn’t paying my car insurance. my job position became a non-position and i couldn’t pay my payments. I call try to make some kind of payments. one point I got the payment and the lady at the car place said she wouldn’t take my payment. Now it 2012 four years later. they sent a warrant in debt. I kno w i might owe for the damage my ex-husband cause but if they fix the car and sold it. why i got to pay 8,700.00. if the van is already sold. And one more thing if i pay this whole payment don’t the van belong to me.

shirley c powell August 27, 2012 at 1:49 pm

being sued on open account for $5000 in VA by Midland Funding, Assignee for Citibank/Sears Gold Master Card — only have social security–no car–no assets–reverse mortgage–can a plaintiff attach my social security?

Bob Weed August 29, 2012 at 5:51 pm

Shirley:

No they cannot attach your social security, BUT, you are foolish if you let midland get a judgment against you. Go to court, ask for a trial. Beat them!

See my blog here. http://robertweed.com/blog/before-bankruptcy/before-bankruptcy-beating-a-warrant-in-debt/

Bob Weed August 29, 2012 at 5:53 pm

Shana:

Go to court, ask for a trial, and insist that they show up with a LIVE witness to prove the amount of the debt. You can probably beat them. If you get a lawyer you have a really strong chance of beating them. They cannot prove in court the amount you owe them, but they win, and will start to garnish you, if you ignore it.

Lyndsay September 10, 2012 at 9:09 am

OK, I got a warrant in debt letter in the mail yesterday, from a car finance company. They are trying to sue me for $865. Here is a quick explanation;
I purchased a vehicle in virginia (I live in WV) in January 2012. 1 month and 3 days later, which they said was out of warranty, my car experienced its first issue. An issue that I believe needs to be recalled. I dealt with the problems until the next thing went wrong with it and it had to be towed by the company to get repaired. I had to travel back down to pick up my vehicle. A couple weeks later ANOTHER problem occured and had to be towed again. This time I refused to pay or drive down to get it, so they covered the expenses and brought it back to me. It broke down a final time, not even a month later and I had had it with them. I called and told them there was no way I was paying my car payment when it was sitting in my driveway, unable to move. The lady I spoke with explained that by breaking the contract they would sell the vehicle in a private auction. If they didn’t get as much out of it as I owed, I was responsible for the remainder. Simple enough and I agreed. A few weeks ago I got a letter stating that they had sold the vehicle for 14 some thousand dollars, and I only owed 13 some thousand. They then stated that I was being charged $762 for towing, storage fees, etc. I was NEVER once explained any of this when I was making the decision to let the car go back, and the only reason I did that was because it was not drivable. I feel like I am being wronged in this situation. I am scheduled to appear in the VA court in a month. I have never dealt with anything like this before so I am looking for some help with this. How should I go about settling this? I feel I should not be responsible for paying this. I believe I was sold a lemon and they are trying to get more money out of me. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Bob Weed September 10, 2012 at 10:01 am

Lyndsay:

It is very difficult to win on something like that in Virginia. Now they are required to mail you notice of the auction TEN DAYS before they sell it–and now and then they do that late. Did you have onto that letter and envelope?

If you get a lawyer who has experience fighting those, you might win if you ask for a trail on the return date–and then take them by surprise with a lawyer at the trial date. They might not be ready…

I’m wondering why you bought a car with only a 30 day warranty–was your credit already shot? If it was, you need to think about talking to a bankrutpcy lawyer..

DarbyDickerson December 10, 2012 at 11:57 am

I have some conflicting reports about what a plaintiff must include within their Bill of Particulars. I am being sued for damages by a former crummy landlord. I asked for a Bill of Particulars at my hearing and after receiving them late, I notice that it only includes two exhibits, my lease and a water bill agreement we signed. I see nothing in regards to how much each individual damges cost or anything to that extent. I have read that a plaintiff must include all evidence of what they plan to speak about in trial, but I heard that it is rarely known and that many get away with it. So my question is, can they bring up issues and evidence that was not submitted with the Bill of Particulars, and if not what Rule or Code number is that so I may cite it during my trial? Thank you so much, your site has been beyond fabulous!

Bob Weed December 10, 2012 at 1:17 pm

Darby:

Well, it depends on the Judge. I don’t have any citation for you. The Judge has discretion what evidence to admit.

I think you should just argue fairness. How can you fight the amount they say is owed when they didn’t give you any calculation. Good luck.

susan December 14, 2012 at 12:22 am

I live in CO but I have rental home in Richmond VA a former tenant who had a portion of security deposit withheld do to damage has retained an attorney and sent me via my property manager a warrant in debt. I have never received one personally and they sent it to my last address by mail.

Because I do not reside in VA is this a legal way of getting me to pay vs flying there to defend my reasons for deposit being withheld?

Bob Weed December 17, 2012 at 7:13 pm

Susan:

Since you own property in Virginia and the lease was in Virginia, they definitely can sue you in Virginia. Whether they have properly sent you the papers is trickier–it partly depends on what the lease says. I think you need a lawyer in Richmond who does landlord tenant law–or you need to cave in and let them have the deposit.

H. D Gabriel April 24, 2013 at 10:38 am

Thank you for your consideration and time because we know you are very busy. Would you please refer or recommend to us, an Attorney that we could speak to, that is experienced in Civil Court Cases in Virginia? Below is a brief overview. We are seeking counsel, advice, guidance or suggestions of what we can do beyond repeated Capias?

Most Grateful for your help.

H.D. Gabriel
Virginia Beach, VA 23451

Virginia Civil District Court Case
Warrant of Debt, Filed 7/2012
Contractor did no work, but kept down payment
Civil Judgment won 9/2012
Defendant ‘never’ came to Court
Levy didn’t work
Garnishment failed/self-employed
Interrogatory unsuccessful
Judge ordered a Capias
Personal Service requested
Defendant ignored it
Second Capias ordered

Asked Judge our options?
He said ‘another Capias’

What advice could you offer?

Bob Weed April 25, 2013 at 5:16 pm

HD

Sorry, I don’t know any lawyers in your part of the state.

Lynne Houston June 26, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Hi Bob,
My Tenant in Manassas VA mentioned I have Warrant in Debt for $320.29 from an Medical Office. The Debt was from June of 2009. I never received any invoices etc. Did a change of Address etc. Never rec’d nothing. I moved to NC over 2yrs ago. When I called the attorney on the Warrant she said it’s now $700 because of interest. She also said – if I don’t show up or pay it would go on my credit. “Is this the worst that could happen? The house is not in my name. Offered to pay the $326 but she wanted total. I have no paperwork from the Doctor. I thought my insurance covered it – never thought anything about it because I never rec’d anything in the mail. What should I do? Would appreciate any advice. Thank you.

Bob Weed June 26, 2013 at 3:36 pm

Lynne:

Well, its tricky. First of all, they probably do NOT have good service on you. The sheriff has to deliver the court paper to your door. You don’t live in Manassas any more, so it didn’t get delivered to your door. Now the sheriff way not know you moved out–if it was just taped to the door.

You could write to the court here, with a copy, and include a copy of your NC drivers license, saying you are not in Virginia any more. That SHOULD work.

Do the papers have your signature on the bill? If not, they have to sue within three years or they are SOL: too late. (Your case is an example of why that rule–called the statute of limitations, or SOL–is in the law. Based on an unsigned bill, more than three years old, how do you, or anybody, know whether it’s really something you owe and it never did get paid by insurance or something along the way.)

How do you make that case? Get a lawyer in Manassas to show up and point that out? Drive up yourself?

The lawyer is a debt collector, under the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), potential liable for suing you on a debt that’s barred by the SOL.

You could write or call the lawyer and tell them you’ll sue under the FDCPA for proceeding on an SOL debt if they don’t drop it. That should work too. (Actually going ahead now that they KNOW they had bad service–you don’t still live in Manassas–is an FDCPA violation, too.)

Those are my ideas. I have on this webpage the names of some lawyer who do this kind or work. You could talk to one of them. Good luck.

Susan July 30, 2013 at 3:50 pm

I am in Virginia and my landlord is keeping most of my security deposit because they said they had to paint when we left. There were no holes or anything just normal wear and tear. There is nothing in the lease stating that we had to paint before we left or anything saying that they were going to charge if they had to paint. What are my options to get my money?
Thanks

Bob Weed July 30, 2013 at 4:13 pm

Susan:

Well, you gotta sue them. Here’s the form http://www.courts.state.va.us/forms/district/dc412.pdf. fill it in and take it down to the courthouse and pay the fee–they want cash from people, lawyers can write checks–for the court and for the sheriff to deliver “serve” it. Be ready to tell your story on the “return date.”

Marie September 18, 2013 at 4:16 am

I am an LLC served a warrant in debt for being 90 days late paying an invoice. Is there a customary time frame you are “allowed” to be late before being served ? Also the debt is form more than henrico allows- I was under the impression it was for only $5000 an this debt is for $7000?

Bob Weed September 18, 2013 at 7:07 am

Marie:

Sorry, can’t say what “customary” is, but if you are late they can sue you. And the jurisdiction of the GDC for a warrant in debt now is $25,000.

Marie September 18, 2013 at 4:19 pm

Thank you for the info. Sould there have been a contract of sorts outlaying the payment plan? I only have something stating if 30 days late there will be a $30 fee added each month.

Gloria B October 5, 2013 at 8:50 pm

The WARRANT IN DEBT I have received is debt on an auto loan from Virginia Credit Union. The Federal Credit I receive monthly is just enough to pay for my room rental, medical bills , prescriptions & more overdue bills that I have negotiated to pay back at an acceptable Payment plan. I have requested COLLECTION if I can do the same until I can be current with auto loan payments.

I have received previous letters from VACU about repossession. Why can they not get the car? I have medical problems right now and the car isn’t really necessary for me now. However, I do accept that I am several few months behind in my obligations.

Please advise. Thank you.

Gloria B Pimentel

Bob Weed October 6, 2013 at 3:32 pm

Gloria:

Thanks for contacting me, because obviously you are in a very tight spot.

On the car, usually there are two reason they don’t come and repossess it. First, they cannot find it. Second, the car will not sell for enough money at auction to pay the cost of the repossession and sale. I’m guessing that’s what has happened here.

Now even if they repossess the car, still get a warrant in debt for the rest of the money you owe. Repossession does NOT end the debt.

Now, you big problem. Your big problem has nothing to do with your car or Virginia Credit Union. Your big problem is, how are you going to live.

You tell me you have very little money, but that you are PAYING “overdue bills..at an acceptable Payment plan.” If your situation is really bad–and it sounds like it is–you need to talk to a bankruptcy lawyer. You tell me your medical problems are so bad that you cannot drive. Then you should NOT be taking money you need for medical bills and prescriptions and be paying past due bills with it. The reason bankruptcy is in the is is so you can use the money you need to take care of yourself.

Maybe you don’t even need to file bankruptcy–maybe if you stop paying there is nothing they can garnish. But you need to talk to a lawyer about your whole situation. You need to use the money you do have to protect your health.

r.Holland October 11, 2013 at 1:49 am

I just received a Garnishment Summons, which was issued on Sept. 18 2013. It was taped to an old address and then mailed to me on Oct 10 2013. Its from an old account I had a while ago. Midland Funding LLc assignee for chase bank.. Now Domion law associates has issued the garnishment on my bank account. I tried to make arrangements with Dominion but they wanted me to pay almost 300 a month, which i told them I could not afford.. I started the arrangement and it cause me finiancial hardship. When I tried to call them back.. No one answers the phone and if you do get someone on the phone then your call is drop. I tried to leave messages on their website stating that I needed something in writing concerning our agreement and their has been no response. But now I have this garnishment. My court date is in November. Any suggestions?

Bob Weed October 11, 2013 at 10:50 am

Holland:

That’s how it works. Dominion, or any collection law firm, gets you into a payment agreement and gets a payment or two so they know where you bank! Then when you miss one, they garnish you. They don’t really want to work out a long term agreement with you, why should they, they just want to garnish! (If you didn’t pay Chase and you didn’t pay Midland they are not going to believe you will pay them either.)

You are long overdue in going to talk to a bankruptcy lawyer. If you had done that a couple years ago, maybe when Chase first charged the account off, you’d almost be back to good credit today. Instead you’ve made yourself miserable dragging the problem around behind you.

Michael P October 11, 2013 at 12:35 pm

Received a warrant in debt for $338.00 from HOA for fees on 26 Sept. I have since paid the fees on 8 Oct. However, to avoid still going to court I have been informed I have to pay “reasonable” attorney fees in the amount of $450 to settle this claim. Is this reasonable and worth settling (paying the $450) or should I take my chances in court, since I paid the initial debt already?

Bob Weed October 11, 2013 at 12:40 pm

Mike:

Usually, the judges I see like to award a flat 25% for reasonable fees. That would be about $80.00. Is it reasonable to send a bill for $338 to a lawyer–partly depends on how many months that is. And if the lawyer is charging $225 an hour–assuming you are NOT in Northern Virginia–is it really two hours? I have no idea what judge you’ll be in front of or what he/she might say. But seems to me it’s worth taking your chances to argue it. Good luck.

Carol October 22, 2013 at 2:29 am

Hello
I hope you can help me.
I just found out that a hospital (Southside Hospital in Farmville, VA – Prince Edward County) that I went to in 2012 for emergency care issued a warrant in debt – open account – court case date is Dec 21, 2012 and is showing “not found/unserved”. There is another court case listed for the same warrant in debt – open account – from the same hospital dated May 29, 2013 showing “default judgement/plaintiff”. Now there is another court case listed, dated October 2, 2013, for the same hospital visit showing it as a Garnishment with a hearing date of March 25, 2014 against me and UNIVERSAL SERVICES OF AMERICA, NEWPORT NEWS, VA (I don’t know who this company is).
The problem is I paid whatever co-pay was required and the rest was paid/covered by my insurance. I didn’t receive any further bills and I also never received or was served a warrant in debt from anyone.
I was out of work for about 2 years until a few weeks ago but always had an address, etc, if anyone needed to contact me.
I knew NOTHING about any of this until tonight via an employment background check by a future employer in North Carolina (nor did I know how to look up VA court cases via the internet until tonight). I just moved to NC at the beginning of September 2013 and just started working part time a few weeks ago (October 2013). I am desperately trying to get full time work so I can get back on my feet financially.
What in the world am I supposed to do about this?

Bob Weed October 22, 2013 at 7:12 am

Carol:

Wow. Welcome to Virginia. The Virginia General District Court does not care much whether you got notice of all this.

But legally they have to get the warrant-in-debt to you–or prove that you are hiding out. You can go down to that courthouse and tell them you want to do a Motion to Vacate the Default, on the grounds that you were not served at a good address. The clerks might help you and might not–they are not supposed to. Otherwise you need a lawyer in that town to do it.

(Universal Services is where they think you are working. Who knows where they came up with that?)

I’m a bankrutpcy lawyer so I don’t do much of that. Is this hospital your only, main problem. If there’s other stuff, you should think aobut cleaning it up with a bankrutpcy, but if this is it, you need to fight it.

Charles J October 30, 2013 at 3:51 pm

I received a Warrant in Debt (Fairfax Co. Gen District Court) from a subcontractor who worked on a major home renovation at my DC residence. He listed me as the third defendant behind the two primary contractors. I had no agreement or contract, written or verbal, with this person. They were hired directly by the primary contractor and I have no knowledge of the terms of that arrangement. The project has been fully completed and I have paid the primary contractor in full per our written contract. Does this subcontractor have any grounds to include me as a defendant and will I still have a judgment made against me if I don’t show up at the hearing?

Thanks so much for your help.

Charles

Bob Weed October 30, 2013 at 4:40 pm

Charles:

You better show up–and if there’s more than few hundred dollars at stake you need to talk to a lawyer who knows something about construction law. I don’t. Sorry.

Sandra November 22, 2013 at 1:10 pm

I’m preparing a Warrant in Debt to my ex-husband. I live in Facquier County and he lives in Frederick County. I loaned him money at my rental in Facquier County and that is where we made the agreement verbally. He did send some of the payment he owes but not all and not consistent. Do i have to sue him in his county where he lives or can I sue him from mine where the agreement was made.

Bob Weed November 22, 2013 at 5:39 pm

Sandra:

Either one.

Chris H January 23, 2014 at 2:04 pm

i received a warrant in debt for home rental damages that exceeded my rental deposit. The charges were excessive and I should have received money back. I desire to counterfile for debt owed to me. Can I counterfile a warrant in debt? or do I need to file in small claims against the home owner? How do I do this?

Bob Weed January 23, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Chris:

You can use the deposit and what you say the damages are worth to try to get the judge to take yours down to zero. But if you want to get more form them, you need to counter file.

You can get the form on the internet, fill it it, and take it to the courthouse and they will tell you how much money you need to file and get the sheriff to “serve” take it to them. You want this to be on the same day that they are suing you, so get on it.

Good luck.

Chris H January 27, 2014 at 6:55 am

Bob,

thank you and that makes sense. Two other questions, if I and my wife are identified as defendents in the suit, do both need to show up at the court date? I.E. Can I bring in a notarized statement from her that states she is unable to attend and that she understands that I will be representing both our interests and that she also understands that she is obligated to any decisions of the court? (we live 4 hours away and do not both want to take off from work) Second, only one of the two co-landlords (husband and wife) filed suit against myself and my wife. I intend to file counterclaim against both to prevent the wife from filing on the same issue at a later date. Can I do this, even though the warant in debt was filed only by the husband?

Bob Weed January 27, 2014 at 2:38 pm

Chris:

As a matter of law, no, you cannot represent your wife. But in the General District Court, I’ve never seen a judge who had any problem with it. At least not to explain what’s going on. It will be fine.

You can file a claim against the landlords regardless of whether they sued you or not. But did BOTH of them sign the lease?

Chris H January 28, 2014 at 6:21 am

Bob,

Both the husband and wife signed the lease, which is why I was concerned about only the husband filing the warrant in debt. I did not want to leave myself open to going through this again at a later date (as we had a contract with both). The reality is that the landlords also live about 4 hours from the court and likely do not want to both have to take off work for this.

I will take a chance that the judge will not have an issue with my wife being at the initial hearing, “return date”.

The primary issue that I have with the landlords is that they charged me for full replacement on carpeting (over $3000 worth) that had been used under tenants for over 6 years. I acknowledge that my pet caused some staining as a result of illness. My counterclaim is based on the failure of the landlords to take account for carpet depreciation (or the value that they have already received for the carpeting). I am using a 10 year useful lifetime for rental properties on carpeting based on what appears to be common practice (7-10 year) from internet research (or 40% remaining value). Several states make it clear that this is appropriate, however I could find nothing for Virginia. I am assuming that the Virginia courts take this similar, “reasonable” approach.

Jonathan Shifflett February 25, 2014 at 4:43 pm

I am a small business owner a lady asked me to insulate her attic and only two walls of her house I gave her an estimate of $825 later she asked how much to do the other two walls I told her if it did not take no more than a couple of hours I would just charge her for materials another $100. The two day job actually took four days total. So I asked her for $1200 to cover the extra cost of renting the machine and to only cover my guys labor cost. The lady became furious with me. Also during this time we knocked a small hole in her drywall by accident which we partially fixed that day. The lady know refuses to pay me and will not allow me to finish fixing the drywall I even called her told her to let me fix the small hole and pay me the original price which was $925 legally what can I do? A warrant in debt? even though she won’t let me finish the fixing the hole the original job is totally done. Can I charge interest ? Do I have to send a certified letter first?

Bob Weed February 25, 2014 at 5:15 pm

Jonathan:

Sorry, because of the work I do I only take the consumer side. Can’t help businesses, even a small business guy like you. That’s just the way I’m set up. I have to promise that in order to have access to some info that I sometimes need.

Aisha M March 10, 2014 at 10:59 am

I received a warrant in debt from Capital One (Plaintiff) c/o Glasser & Glasser. I went to the court date back in January and requested a trial which is scheduled for 6/19. My Grounds of Defense is due today, 3/10, and I’m trying to figure out what to put to get me to my trial date (I plan on filing bankruptcy before then). In their bill of particulars they included the original signed application dated 1/04. They also included statements dated back to 2007. What can I use as my defense?

Bob Weed March 10, 2014 at 11:11 am

Aisha:

I can post on this website general information that helps educate the community. But I can’t be your lawyer. Sorry.

Heather March 24, 2014 at 3:59 pm

I received a warrant of debt from an anestiologist in 2009 in Virginia Beach. It was delivered to my parent address in PA (I haven’t lived there since 2006). The service was an emergency c-section that I later received a bill from saying it was an out of network anestiologist. The anestiologist filed a claim with my insurance. Anthem was to send me a check for the services that I was to sign to pay to the order of the anestiologist. I never received the check, maybe because I moved less then a month after my son was born, forgot about it completely (joys of first time motherhood) and now received this summons to appear in court for the full amount.
I don’t know how to get records from an old insurance company showing they sent me the check and it wasn’t cashed. And of course record that it’s the insurance companies responsibility. Also, since it was almost 5 years ago hasn’t this reached the statue of limitations?
I moved to Shenandoah County this July from the Hampton Roads area. My trial is set in VA Beach. Can I place an “Objection of Venue” and request my trial to be moved to my current county?
Should I look for an attorney here or in VA Beach if it cannot be moved?

Please help. I have so many questions.

Bob Weed March 24, 2014 at 6:07 pm

Heather:

If went to the anesthesiologist in Virginia Beach, I think it’s not very likely they will move the case out of Virginia Beach. You can try, but I wouldn’t count on it.

Statute of limitations is five years on a written contract. Depending on when it was, you are at less than five years–IF they have everything they need to show a written contract.

So I think you need a lawyer, you need one probably in Virginia Beach.

That’s all I know.

Emma May 5, 2014 at 6:30 pm

I have a question. I got a warrant in debt from school three weeks ago for $15000. Since I am an international student and I don’t work. I know that I do owe them money but I have no idea what to do. What are the options for me? Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Bob Weed May 6, 2014 at 6:11 am

Emma:

Well, you should talk to a lawyer about your long term plans. How long are you going to stay here? Do you plan to work here at some point? Do you have money in a bank in the USA. Doing nothing MIGHT be an option. If this is a tuition bill rather than a student loan, you might want to discuss bankruptcy.

Shannon May 30, 2014 at 12:18 pm

Will a Warrant in Debt hold up clearances during background checks like a criminal want or warrant?

Bob Weed May 30, 2014 at 12:26 pm

Shannon:

Clearances are a secret process so I can’t say for sure. But having debts that you haven’t taken care of is grounds for not getting a clearance. I explain what I know here. http://robertweed.com/2011/08/07/defense-cutbacks-bankruptcy-and-your-security-clearance/