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Why am I being sued again? What is Supplemental Process?

Produced by Mariah Jennings-Rampsi, South Coastal Counties Legal Services, with funding from American College of Bankruptcy Foundation
Reviewed December 2019

If the creditor wins a lawsuit against you the creditor must take you to court again to make you pay back what you owe.  The second court case is called "Supplemental Process".

In the "Supplemental Process" court case the Judge decides if:

  • you can afford to pay anything towards the debt or
  • if you have any property that can be sold to pay the debt.

You will get a complaint and summons with the date and time of the Supplemental Process case.

At the supplemental process hearing you will probably be asked to fill out a financial statement. The financial statement asks for your earnings and your expenses.  It also asks for your assets or things that have value.  Fill out the financial statement the best you can.  If your income is protected take copies of your income or benefit statements or stubs to court to show the judge.

If you are collection proof and you do not think your circumstances will change anytime soon, tell the judge:

  1. your financial situation;
  2. that you do not believe your situation will change;
  3. explain that it is a hardship for you to go to court when your situation is not going to change; and
  4. ask to have the case dismissed.

Even if the judge and Plaintiff can see you have no money, the plaintiff can ask that they "continue" or "reschedule" the hearing in a few months to see if you can pay any money towards the debt then.  Or they can file another case at any time.  You may have to go to court many times for Supplemental Process. You must go to court each time even if you do not have any money to pay the debt.

If you are over 60 or disabled the judge can decide that you do not need to return to court on the supplemental process. 

If:

  • You are over 60 or disabled,
  • you only have exempt property, and
  • you only receive exempt income,

give documentation of your age or disability to the creditor’s attorney and the judge.

Ask the judge to dismiss the case. See What if I am over 60 or disabled and I can not pay my debt?

 

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