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WALLSTREETESQ
WALLSTREETESQ, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 16317
Experience:  14 years exp., CH 7 AND 13 Bankruptcy cases, AFL-CIO UNION PLUS, UFT NYSID AND ALL MAJOR UNIONS
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Arizona - My husband and I are having dire financial problems.

Resolved Question:

Arizona - My husband and I are having dire financial problems. I contracted a chronic illness and am unable to work. He has had a nuerological illness and has not worked for 10 years. In the last year my 85 year old mother has become ill and needs constant care - I share this with my sister as much as I am able. I had a small book business for awhile and was able to supplement our income, but even that is impossible now.

I have a credit card debt of $6000. I was paying regularly until they raised my interest rate without cause and from then on I was no longer able to pay anything on principle - for years and I have been pouring money into a black hole - after numrous attempts at negotiating - I stopped paying as we were unable to pay for our basic needs.

Creditor is now suing me and are attempting to bypass court hearing by a "motion for judgement"

I (we) have no assets. I have taken early SS which just covers my insurance.. My husband is on SS disability, and receives a teacher's pension. Our house is paid for but not worth much - 12,500 or so at last tax assssment. We have no savings, bank account avarages about $800, cars are 20 years old.. I have some boxes of used books in a storage locker that aren't worth much anymore that I'm hoping to sell for a little added income if my mother improves and I have some time again.

I have considered bankruptcy, but was told everything is protected. Is this correct?

How far can this creditor go in AZ, what can they seize, and how long will this stressful situation continue?

Can I fight this motion for judgement with the fact that interest rate was raised (just prior to law being enacted) or am I in a hopeless position?

Thanks
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  WALLSTREETESQ replied 1 year ago.

WALLSTREETESQ :

Hello I am a licensed attorney here to help you with your question, please review my response and do not hesitate to ask for clarificati on.

WALLSTREETESQ :

This is an unfortunate situation,

WALLSTREETESQ :

In terms of a bankruptcy and lawsuit collections, social security and ssdi cannot be taken by creditors,

WALLSTREETESQ :

Your pension accounts as well as IRA accounts are also protected from collections,

WALLSTREETESQ :

If you have assets such as a car even with limited equity it may be possible for the collection agency to try to lien the cars, but that would be rare,

WALLSTREETESQ :

In Arizona, every person age eighteen (18) or older who resides in the state, whether married or single, may hold as "homestead" exempt from attachment, execution and forced sale, certain property worth one hundred fifty thousand dollars ($150,000.00) or less. Exempt from attachment, execution and forced sale means that the property may not be seized by a creditor. The property may not be sold by the Sheriff, and the resident may not be removed from the property against his or her will.

WALLSTREETESQ :

The above is the AZ homestead which protects your home equity as well, so in terms of collections you are protected.

WALLSTREETESQ :

If you want to file a bankruptcy you could also do this and avoid the debt collection issues as well.

Customer:

Can they put a lein on my house? Can they seize my storage locker - I have books and some furniture - not worth a lot, but don't want to lose?

Customer:

As far as the lawsuit - should I do something about the motion for judgement - do I have a chance?

Customer:

What would I lose in bancruptcy?

Customer:

If thre is a judgement - what will happen if everything is protected? Will I have to go to court again?

Customer:

Are we still connected?

WALLSTREETESQ :

yes,

WALLSTREETESQ :

please re type your response again, I missed it.

WALLSTREETESQ :

In terms of the motion, you would have a hard time to fight the case, however you may want to appear in Court and try to force a settlement of the debt,

WALLSTREETESQ :

You can also threaten a bankruptcy, and they may settle with you for less then 50% of the entire amount.

Customer:

If they are moving to not have a hearing - what can I do?

Customer:

What about seizing my storage locker, or any of my prsonal property?

WALLSTREETESQ :

If they are moving not to have a hearing, that can only be done if you have not answered their complaint,

WALLSTREETESQ :

if that is the case, they can try to go after personal property

Customer:

I haveno $ (sad but true) to pay even half of debt - so what actually will happen if a judgement is ordered?

WALLSTREETESQ :

A judgment would go to collections, and then they will try to attach any property that is not exempt,

WALLSTREETESQ :

which in your case is limited.

WALLSTREETESQ :

Since your home is protected and social security and pensions are protected they will have limited options.

WALLSTREETESQ :

If you file a bankruptcy, you can also wipe out the debt.

Customer:

a copy of the order for judgement without a hearing came in the mail yesterday - what is my nxt step. I have done all previous paperwork and filed it with court.

WALLSTREETESQ :

At this point, you can contact the creditor and try to settle,

Customer:

Is it common to go after personal property and how do they go about doing it?

WALLSTREETESQ :

if they do not want to, you can just let them try to collect on you or speak to a local attorney to file bankruptcy

WALLSTREETESQ :

It is difficult and rare for creditors to go after personal property,

WALLSTREETESQ :

a car may be forced to go to collections,

Customer:

So, thre is nothing I need to submit to the court to counter this motion?

WALLSTREETESQ :

but other items is rare, typically bank accounts, and wage garnishments are what is taken

WALLSTREETESQ :

You can file a motion opposing the hearing, but since a judgment was issued you have limited options.

WALLSTREETESQ :

Let me clarify, you can file a motion opposing the judgment, and ask for a formal hearing forcing them to prove you owe the debt.

Customer:

Can I do bankruptcy on my own - can't affort a lawyer?

WALLSTREETESQ :

you can do it yourself, but also use a document service that will prepare your petition for less then $200,

WALLSTREETESQ :

also the court will waive your $300 filing fee if you cannot afford it.

Customer:

I owe th debt - I think thy were unthical in raising interest rate and making it impossible in my sit. Is that a defense?

WALLSTREETESQ :

The raising of the interest rate is not against the law so that would not be a defense,

Customer:

Do you have any suggestions on the best way to handle this?

Customer:

no judgement has been issued yet - they are just in the process of asking for it

WALLSTREETESQ :

I would not worry about it, and if they try to collect or posses any personal property file a bankruptcy by using a document service or paralegal.

WALLSTREETESQ :

It will take 3-6 months after a judgment for them to start collecting.

WALLSTREETESQ :

classiclegalhelp.com

WALLSTREETESQ :

The links above are places where you can file a bankruptcy for $200

Customer:

ar you sure that it taks that long in AZ after a judgement - I thought they could seize bank account immediately

WALLSTREETESQ :

they can only seize a bank account, if you have non exempt income in it, if the account is funded by social security and pensions that cannot be garinshed,

Customer:

If they do seize bank account - do I then have to go to court to prov that it is pnsion and ss funds? and how long can they size it for and how often?

WALLSTREETESQ :

If they do seize it, you may have to force them to reopen it by going to Court,

WALLSTREETESQ :

I would advise your bank now that this is an issue, and make 6-12 months statements available to prove your income is protected.

Customer:

I don't want the bank getting uptight with me and closing my account

WALLSTREETESQ :

they would not,

WALLSTREETESQ :

Then consider a bankruptcy

Customer:

Hopefully things will gt bttr in th future. If an a year or so I start making a littl money - part time is all I can see, if that, will they re-seize bank account ?

WALLSTREETESQ :

The best way to protect your exempt benefits is to sign up for direct deposit and keep your bank balance below $2,500.

WALLSTREETESQ :

they may try to garnish your wages,

WALLSTREETESQ :

A variety of limitations are placed on non-wage garnishments.


The statutory exemptions for non-wage garnishments pursuant to A.R.S. § 12-1596(C)include:



  1. One hundred fifty dollars ($150.00) in a bank, savings and loan association or credit union account (Three hundred dollars ($300.00) for married account holders);

  2. Temporary assistance for needy families;

  3. Supplemental Security Income (SSI);

  4. Social Security benefits (SSA);

  5. Veterans’ Administration benefits (VA);

  6. Certain pension benefits and retirement funds;

  7. Workers’ Compensation benefits; and

  8. Some insurance proceeds.


Further, the statutory exemptions pursuant to A.R.S. § 12-1596(C) include:



  1. Household goods, furniture and appliances;

  2. Up to one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500.00) equity value for each owner of a car or truck (Three thousand dollars ($3,000.00) equity value if the owner is physically handicapped);

  3. Wearing apparel, musical instruments, televisions or stereos and other personal items;

  4. Tools and equipment used in a commercial activity, trade, business or profession.

WALLSTREETESQ :

http://www.law.arizona.edu/Library/Research/Guides/bankruptcy/garnishment.cfm?page=research

WALLSTREETESQ :

Since AZ has such a low amount you may be best to keep a balance at $300 or less every month.

WALLSTREETESQ :

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to ask.

WALLSTREETESQ :

If satisfied please provide us with positive feedback.

Customer:

Last question I promise - if I sell some of my belongings - clothes, books on Ebay or Amazon - can they take those proceeds, can they garnish my Amazon account?

WALLSTREETESQ :

it is possible but highly unlikely an amazon account is not readily available for collections.

WALLSTREETESQ :

If you plan such a thing, consider filing bankruptcy to avoid the matter.

Customer:

Thanks for all the info. I am getting the impression that I am fairly safe with my current circumstances. I am still not sure if the best thing to do is to try to prevent the hearing from being dismissed and just let the judgement happen, or to go to court -

Customer:

If I have any moe questions in the future - can I contact you directly, or is this random?

WALLSTREETESQ :

Yes, you are correct, if you have any further questions you can ask for wallstreet esq,

Customer:

also - will there be a transcript of this chat somewhere?

WALLSTREETESQ :

and I will help you with any questions.

WALLSTREETESQ :

I can send this to your email.

WALLSTREETESQ :

So you can review it any time.

WALLSTREETESQ :

If satisfied with our service please provide us with positive feedback.

Customer:

You didn't answer this - should I go to court or just let judgement happen?

Customer:

And please send this transcript to my email - thanks!

WALLSTREETESQ :

I would let the judgment happen, as it seems they will receive it no matter what at this point.

Customer:

Thanks for all the information. You have been a great help. I will be sure to leave you positive feedback.

WALLSTREETESQ, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 16317
Experience: 14 years exp., CH 7 AND 13 Bankruptcy cases, AFL-CIO UNION PLUS, UFT NYSID AND ALL MAJOR UNIONS
WALLSTREETESQ and other Bankruptcy Law Specialists are ready to help you

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WALLSTREETESQ
Bankruptcy Lawyer
16317 Satisfied Customers
14 years exp., CH 7 AND 13 Bankruptcy cases, AFL-CIO UNION PLUS, UFT NYSID AND ALL MAJOR UNIONS