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Albuquerque Law Blog

What can you do after a judgment is entered?

People embroiled in financial difficulties may have more to deal with than just past due credit card bills and the threat of foreclosure. They may also be tied up in lawsuits where the specter of a large judgment is present. Consumers in this situation may think that the judgment may ruin them forever, and that there is nothing that can be done to stop a plaintiff in a lawsuit from taking everything from them.

However, a judgment is merely a court order indicating that a party has the legal right to obtain the property or money that was the subject of the lawsuit. Essentially, it is only one step (of many) in the collection process. If you have heard the adage “a judgment may not be worth the paper that it is printed on” you may understand this fact. As such, debtors with judgments against them have several options.

How Good is Your Budget?

Nearly everyone has experienced financial distress at some point, whether through a financial emergency or simply bad decisions concerning money. However, creating and following a budget goes a long way toward reining in your finances.

When tax debt may be eliminated through bankruptcy


If tax season is time of worry and turmoil about how much you owe Uncle Sam, or how you will ever get out from under tax debt, this post may be for you. Bankruptcy can be a helpful tool to discharge old tax debt and create a viable plan to escape crushing debt at the same time.

Facing foreclosure? You may have more options than you think.

At the Albuquerque law firm of Giddens & Gatton Law,amp; P.C., we help people across New Mexico facing severe debt problems to find legal solutions. Unfortunately, debts quickly mount when a consumer is faced with unexpected job loss or a medical crisis, often putting his or her home at risk of foreclosure when mortgage payments are missed.

Non-bankruptcy solutions to prevent foreclosure

As soon as it is clear that you will miss mortgage payments with no immediate solution, it is a good idea to talk to a consumer protection lawyer who can advise you about the range of possible solutions, both outside of and including bankruptcy.

Common Pitfalls of Real Estate

Several years back, television infomercials touting the merits of financial freedom through real estate investment were all the rage. These days, "flipping" shows featuring couples, relatives, or other combinations of contractors, designers, and real estate agents are wildly popular. However, making a career from real estate is not nearly so easy or entertaining as these programs would have you believe. In fact, there are several potential pitfalls that can derail your ambitions of real estate investing. Here are some things to consider.

GG&J Gives Back

At Giddens & Gatton Law, P.C., our primary mission is providing "Expertise with Compassion" for our clients. That mission extends beyond our legal practice to reaching out to the community through various charitable initiatives such as participating in the annual Run for the Zoo and volunteering for Toys for Tots during the holiday season. Of those initiatives, our biggest contribution to the people of Albuquerque and New Mexico was through a $10,000 donation to Paws and Stripes.

For senior citizens, bankruptcy can be an answer to debt problems

Here at Giddens & Gatton Law,amp; P.C., we help people from all walks of life whose debt problems have become overwhelming. Nowadays, it is becoming more common for senior citizens to consider bankruptcy as a realistic answer when retirement has become weighed down by debt.

Bankruptcy is socially acceptable now

Retirement should be a time to take it easy and enjoy life, instead of enduring high stress from money problems. Many elders today grew up in a time when people lived frugally and worked hard. Bankruptcy was seen by some as something weak or unacceptable, but that misconception is - and should be - falling by the wayside. For someone in their later years, it can give him or her a fresh start and relief from crushing debt and the pressure that comes with it. No one is too old for taking this step.

Discharge of student loans in bankruptcy under scrutiny by U.S. DOE

Last month, we blogged about the challenge of getting student loans discharged in bankruptcy. In that post, we talked about the legal standard of "undue hardship" that must be met in New Mexico to have your student loans discharged in bankruptcy.

Undue hardship

Because the federal law does not define "undue hardship," U.S. bankruptcy courts apply either of two legal standards to define undue hardship, depending on where the court is located. New Mexico is in the 10th Circuit, which applies the Brunner test. To meet that test and have student loans extinguished, the debtor needs to show that the student loan payments would cause a "minimal standard of living" likely to occur during a "significant portion" of the repayment time and that attempts to repay have been made in good faith.

Reorganizing your debt and keeping your assets with bankruptcy

If you are struggling with overwhelming debt, you may not know how you will ever escape your accumulating balances and harassment from creditors. You may know that filing for consumer bankruptcy can offer you a way out, but making the decision to file is not an easy one. 

There are many reasons why New Mexico consumers should consider filing for bankruptcy, and facing threats of foreclosure is one of them. If you are facing the very real possibility of losing your home, you may consider the protections that Chapter 13 bankruptcy offers you. This step could allow you to keep your home, reorganize your debt and eventually secure a stronger financial future.

What is the automatic stay in bankruptcy?

When a debtor files a petition for bankruptcy, an automatic stay of all collection activities against the debtor takes immediate effect. This is a broad, temporary protection for the debtor against legal action to collect the debtor's money or property to satisfy debts.

Application of stay

The automatic stay is not a specific court order. Rather, it springs into existence by operation of law upon the filing of the bankruptcy petition and freezes almost all collection efforts. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court provides notice of the filing to all creditors listed in the debtor's bankruptcy petition.

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10400 Academy Road NE
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Albuquerque, NM 87111

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