Am I responsible for a plaintiff’s lawyer fees in a wage garnishment matter?

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Am I responsible for a plaintiff’s lawyer fees in a wage garnishment matter?

I was sued and sent the principal to the attorney representing the company I owed. I assumed I would owe court costs and nothing more. I was notified by the court I had a judgement against me and the lawyer notified me that my wages would be garnished. The total that was being garnished was more than twice the principal amount. Am I paying his rate as well? Am I responsible for that?

Asked on September 1, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Nebraska

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

*Sometimes* a defendant is responsible for attorneys fees; in the first place, certain laws provide that the defendant will pay a winning plaintiff's fees, and in the second place, courts will sometimes order this as a matter of fairness, as when defendant didn't really have grounds and unnecessarily caused plaintiff to spend money. In those case above, a defendant could also be responsible for court or filing costs. In addition, once a judgment is against someone, if that person doesn't pay, the judgment may start accruing interest, which would added on to an award; and depending on the nature of the action, sometimes interest accrued before the judgment, too (e.g. if there was a contract, loan or  promissory note specifying interest).


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