Consumer Protection Law
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You could be judgment proof.
What assets do you have besides the house and car?
What is the value of the car? Do you have a loan against the car?
How much is the alleged debt that they're trying to collect?
I do note have any other assets besides the house and car. My car is a 1999 4 door Saturn. Blue Book value is 2,570.
First, realize that you can't go to jail for failing to pay a debt or a judgment. If you do not pay a debt or if a judgment is entered against you, this information can be reported to the credit bureau and made a part of your credit history. The credit bureau can report this information for seven years in your credit history. If a judgment is entered against you, you are called a judgment debtor.
A judgment is an order entered by a judge at the end of a lawsuit. A creditor who obtains a judgment against you is called a judgment creditor. A judgment creditor can require you to attend a deposition and give information about your income and assets. The court can require you to give written information or testimony about your income, assets, property, employer and Social Security number. If a judgment is entered against you by a court, your wages or bank account may be taken from you to pay the judgment. This is called garnishment and attachment.
The garnishment law allows the judgment creditor to obtain a continuing writ of garnishment which orders your employer to deduct money from your periodic wages until you have paid off the judgment. Through a process called execution a creditor can collect money owed under a judgment. The judgment creditor pays a bond to the local sheriff to seize personal property owned by a judgment debtor so that it can be auctioned and the proceeds applied to pay the judgment.
Under most circumstances, a lien cannot be placed on your home for a debt. However, creditors who loan you money to buy, improve, or repair your home may put a lien on your home.
To protect your home, an affidavit describing your home and claiming it as your homestead must be filed with the court. This is different from the homestead tax form you file with the county property appraiser every year.
Persons who do not qualify as head of family will still have the protection of federal law which limits the amount of wages that can be garnished. If you take home less than 30 times the minimum wage per week, all of your wages are exempt. Otherwise, a judgment creditor can obtain 25 percent of your net wages under a continuing writ of garnishment until the judgment is paid in full.
All professionally prescribed health aids used by you or your dependents are exempt from being taken by creditors. Other types of income, including Social Security benefits, workers compensation, unemployment benefits, disability benefits, Veteran's benefits and retirement benefits are exempt from garnishment.
You may claim your exemptions by filing an affidavit with the court describing the exemption and your claim to it. Your affidavit must also be sent to the judgment creditor and any attorney for the judgment creditor. The judgment creditor must then file an affidavit with the court within two days to challenge your exemption. If the judgment creditor doesn't object by filing an affidavit, you can ask the court for a hearing to stop the garnishment or execution and have your exempt wages or property returned to you. Notice of the hearing must be given to the judgment creditor.
Under current Florida law, if your wages or bank account are going to be garnished, you will not receive any notice until after the wages have already been withheld or a hold placed on your bank account. The judgment creditor must send you a copy of the writ of garnishment, a copy of the answer filed by your employer or bank and a notice telling you about your right to request that the court stop the garnishment or execution.
Your spouse or any other person who has an ownership interest in the property may file an affidavit showing the right of ownership and requesting the court to return the property. The judgment creditor may contest the claim of exemption and request a hearing.
Transfers of property that are fraudulent or are made solely to keep the property from creditors may cause the property to lose its exempt status.
If you need assistance with establishing your exemptions to protect your income or property, please contact your local legal services or legal aid office or a private attorney. Forms and instructions for asserting your exemptions are available free of charge from your local legal services or legal aid office.
Basically your judgment proof - that even if they get an award and reduce it to a judgment they can't get any of your property. The only issue you have is the car - and that arguable that it's worth over the $1,000.00 vehicle exemption. I would state that it isn't worth over $1,000.00. Regardless, I'm pretty certain that the judgment creditor won't pursue that anyway.
All you have to prove is that it's a joint account - and that your money being deposited therein is from ss and your pension - they can't touch monies from those sources.
All you have to do is show your bank statement if automatic deposit or show copies of the checks - either way will prove where the money came from and they can't touch it.
Your "judgment proof" as I stated I thought you would be. What judgment proof means is - that although a creditor gets a judgment against you they can't collect on the judgment against any of your assets or income.
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