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Do you have any savings account?
Do you work?
The short answer to your question is YES. Your bank accounts may be frozen and the money be turned over to the Court. The Court in turn will pay Discover Card. Your car may be sold and a lien may be put on your property.
It would be in your best interest to try to come to an agreement with Discover Card. Hopefully, they will agree to a lesser total amount owed and/or a payment arrangement in which you can pay a certain amount to Discover on a monthly basis. So long as you stay true to the agreement, a judgment won't enter. If you stopped paying, then a judgment would enter.
Below is a longer explanation as to judgments, collection and exemptions. PLEASE take the time to read the rest of this answer.
In North Carolina, if the creditor (Discover Card) gets a judgment against you, it is valid for 10 years and can be renewed for another 10.in NC for 20 years. They can be moved from county to county, state to state, and country to country.
The reason that a creditor (Discover Card) wants to get a judgment against you is because it is can use it as a tool to get your money. Wages can be garnished in NC, but it is a complicated process and is not done extremely often. Creditors also can get the sheriff to sell land or houses if they file a judgment lien filed against against you . If you have a car, bank accounts, or other valuable property, Discover Card can sell these items or collect its money through the sheriff's office. This is called executing a judgment.
Discover Card can also can bring special proceedings against you if it has a judgment. In this case, Discover card would make you appear in front of a judge and testify and prove what assets you have so that Discover Card can see if it is worth it's trouble to keep going after your assets.
Exemptions are important because they say what assets a creditor CANNOT take from a debtor when he is trying to collect a debt.
If Discover Card gets a judgment against you, you will be sent a notice to CLAIM your exemptions which looks like any other old' legal paper to most people. If you do NOT fill out the form in a timely fashion when you get it, YOU DO NOT HAVE ANY EXEMPTIONS. This is a very costly mistake. So, if a judgment it obtained, look for it in the mail, FILL IT OUT and file it!
You can claim things that you think should be exempted from Discover Card's attempt to collect your debt. For example, your wages, house, retirement, car, etc. Name them all! It will be the Clerk who will determine what is exempt and what is not.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX more specific question is this. Isn't there a certain amount of money that is exempt from collection, especially if I don't have exemptions for a house, car, etc.? This $2400 I have in my bank account is all I have, and the amount flucuates because I use it to live on. Doesn't the law protect my wages when they're used to live on?
I'm sorry for the delay. I was assisting another customer.
The answer is NO. There isn't a certain amount that is exempt from your bank account, or any other asset. You can try to claim an exemption for at least some of it--because you use it to live on. However, if you don't fill out the form and at least claim whatever monies you believe should be exempted, any exemptions will be lost.
Again, your best bet is to try to enter into an agreement with Discover card to pay the debt without a judgment being entered. Maybe you can offer to give Discover a certain amount of money up front (eg. $1,000.00 or another amount if more appropriate) and then make monthly payments for the rest. That way, you don't have to worry about anything except making your agreed upon payments on time. Freezing bank accounts, garnishments, selling of assets, etc. won't be an issue UNLESS you fail to uphold your end of any agreement.
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Currently, from your post, it does not appear that Discover Card has a judgment against you. Until it does, and there is an attempt to collect, the money is yours to do with what you please, assuming that you are not using the money illegally.
If there was a judgment entered in the fall, you may have lost your right to claim exemptions. If Discover knows about the bank account, they could request that the account be frozen and that they be paid the entire amount.
If they do not know about your account and have not requested a hearing, in which you are placed under oath, to disclose ALL of your assets, then the money is still yours to do with as you please so long as it is NOT illegal.
At some point in time, you may be asked to disclose what you did with the money since there is a valid judgment against you. But, if Discover has taken no action, how would you know that you couldn't use the money?
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