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Everything old is new again... - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
Everything old is new again...

Today was the longest and earliest of the three straight days of court this week.  It also packed the greatest quantity of stupid, much of it involving Old Things from over a decade ago.

Court itself first thing in the day was fine, if a little annoying. I then arrived to find papers fully signed by another client in all the right spots- but with three additional party names scribbled on one not-to-be-signed page near the back of the pack. That's it; no addresses, amounts or other details.  Apparently I'm just expected to know these minor details. I've been waiting for a promised clarifying email ever since.

But at least those debts are more-or-less from the last year or so. I left early to head back home because I had no further scheduled appointments and nobody was returning my calls or emails.  I find disappearing to be a good way to remedy this. Sure enough, three calls instantly rolled in once I got in the car.


The first took me back to 2006. Client had a judgment taken against him. I would not meet the man for another nine years, and I filed a BK for him last year, which removed all of his debt except that judgment as a lien on his home. The call today was because the evil creditor had just begun a proceeding to force the payment of the judgment out of the equity in his house. Once I got back and saw what had been actually filed, I offered some options, but he's basically hurting emotionally over the whole thing.  He told me I hadn't done things that I did, and that he'd paid me amounts he never paid (I keep anal records for this very reason). Nothing will even begin to happen for over a month, so I told him to sit tight for a couple of days and think over the choices I gave him. It will be very clear, if he does hire me, what I will be doing and what he will be paying.

Second call was from a fellow attorney who I get along pretty well with, but who is on the opposite side of a fairly nasty contractor dispute.  My client on this one is one of those night owls who tends to send emails in the evening and well into the wee smalls, so it's hard to have really good communication.

Finally, though, came the "Peace Duh Resistance," as they say in France;)  A couple of weeks ago, against my better judgment (foreshadowing-ironic term), I took on a new real estate deal just as I was wrapping up my previous one.  I'd tried to ship this one elsewhere, but the potential replacement was going out of town and boom! there was the contract in my email. So I took it, approved the deal, and waited for the buyer to get his mortgage.

Then the call came last week: Client had a lit-tle problem. Apparently back in 2003, someone took a judgment against HIM, which everyone, including the creditor, proceeded to ignore for the next 13-plus years. Until virtually the same moment that he bid on a house on a deal I approved, whereupon it came back to life and resulted in a garnishment being slapped on him.

Oddity of New York law: judgments are good for 20 years, but are only liens on real estate for 10.  You can renew them for a second decade, but you have to do it within the tenth year. This one was never renewed as a lien, and it thus never appeared in any credit or title report, but the underwriter saw the garnishment on his pay stub and asked about it.  The thing about garnishments, though, is that they are always the same percentage of an employee's pay whether the judgment is for 100 bucks or 100 million bucks.  And nobody in this transaction seems to care which.  Hence, the final call I got in the car today: he has been approved for the mortgage, which will close next month as soon as he presents proof that he's made three months of payment on the garnishment. And once he closes and owns the home, I can make almost completely sure that he will never have to pay it again for a fourth month.


Once finally home, we watched the most recent episode of Class, with a break in the middle because Emily asked me to send copies of the kids' tax returns to them because they, too, are beginning the mortgage process this week- so they may be owning, rather than renting, a home once their current lease is up.

At least with HER, I know I'm not going to have to go back in time before 1992.

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