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SavyLawyer
SavyLawyer, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4217
Experience:  Licensed to practice law, I have experience in dealing with a wide variety of legal issues.
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Garnishment of Bank Account - State of Georgia I just recieved

Customer Question

Garnishment of Bank Account - State of Georgia
I just recieved a copy of Affidavit for Regular Garnishment. Plaintiff is American Express. Garnishee is First Citizens Bank. Filed in State Court of Gwinnett County (I live in Hart County). notice to First Citizens Bank, Duluth. (I do use First Citizens bank in Hartwell, Hart co)
info: my deposits into my personal bank account are from a county government pension from Glynn County Ga. I do co-own a business but I am not considered an employee and do not recieve pay from it.
questions:
1) does this mean they can just take my money whenever they want it indefinitely and leave my account at 0 ??.. seems like I would simpy close the account if that is the case. I would definitely not put money in it !! There is very little in it now.. about $300.. I plan to stop my direct deposit into this account asap.
2) can they take someone else's money if I am on their account. i.e. my roommate..
3) can they freeze my business account that is a partnership?


First Citizens does not hold any mortgages, car loans, etc only bank accounts

this is for credit card debt and I have been battling back and forth about it for over 2 years.. They have gone through Hart courts and Clarke County courts and apparently found satisfaction with gwinnett County..
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  SavyLawyer replied 2 years ago.

SavyLawyer :

Hello, and thank you for contacting Just Answer. Give me just a moment to review your question.

SavyLawyer :

First and foremost, a suit over a credit card debt must be brought in the county in which the defendant resides, and failure on their part to do so may give rise to liability under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act. Consequently, you could, at your discretion, consider a suit against the debt collector/law firm for violation of this act, there are a number of attorneys who specialize in this type of law, and only take payment if you win damages.

SavyLawyer :

Second, an individual judgment debtor may apply to the court to use their $5000 exemption to judgment collection, which can be used to exempt any type of personal property or real estate from seizure, up to the $5000 limit. This can be used for bank accounts/cash in the bank.

Customer:

my first dealing were the Hart County courts and I answered all information... Next thing I got was a notice from Clarke County superior court, then I recieved a notice from am ex. attorney that garnishment on account was removed .. ( I didn't know I even had one) then today I get notice from State court of Gwinnett County with garnishment to first Citizens.

SavyLawyer :

Now, as a direct response to your question, a judgment creditor (meaning a plaintiff who has a judgment against you), can go after any asset with your name on it, including bank accounts, joint bank accounts (such as if you put your name on your roommates account) or any other property in which you have a legal interest or right to draw from. Again, you can exempt such property, including cash, up to $5000 by asserting this exemption with the court.

Customer:

what is meant by property ? I have nothing but bank accounts with First citizens. no mortgage, car loans, etc..

SavyLawyer :

Truth be told, that does sound strange. It sounds like they were venue shopping, which again is a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. In any event, as I said before you can go to whichever court currently has the case, and exert your $5000 exemption over any cash assets you have, and I would consider speaking with an attorney about an FDCPA suit against the creditor because of the venue shopping. I cannot promise success with such a suit, but it is worth sitting down with an attorney in person to discuss it.

SavyLawyer :

Property can be just about anything that you hold title to, from cars, to clothes, to cash in the bank. Generally, however, a creditor is going to first look for wages, and if there are none (As in your case) they will go after a bank account. Cash in the bank counts as property which you should be able to exert the exemption over.

SavyLawyer :

Also, before I forget, if you do want to discuss any of this, particularly an FDCPA complaint with a local attorney, the State Bar Association does have a referral site at:

SavyLawyer :

http://www.gabar.org/ethics/lawyer_referral_service/

Customer:

thanks.. that was going to be my next question re: an attorney..

SavyLawyer :

I hope this helps, and let me know if you have any further questions. Otherwise, please remember to click the ACCEPT button so that I can receive credit for my work.

SavyLawyer :

You are welcome, and let me know if you have any further questions. Otherwise, please remember to click the ACCEPT button so that I can receive credit for my work.

Customer:

so you are saying I would have to go to Gwinnett County not Hart County and file this exemption ? I'm not as concerned about my personal acct as I am the business account which would greatly affect other people.

SavyLawyer :

If the plaintiff has somehow gotten the court in Gwinnett County to take jurisdiction over the case, then yes, you have to assert the exemption in front of whatever county has the case. As for the business account, if the business is a corporation or other seperate legal entity (corporartion, LLC, etc) then it's accounts should be protected. However, if the business is a partnership or sole proprietorship, and the business account has your name attached, there is a risk to the account, yes.

SavyLawyer :

I hope this helps further, and let me know if you have any follow up questions. Otherwise, please remember to click the ACCEPT button so that I can receive credit for my work.

Customer:

do they empty your account every time money goes in it until the amount is paid or is there an end to this process.?. I don't own a home but I do own a bldg with no mortgage.. could they go after that? I thought credit card was unsecured debt.. seems that they could not take my bldg. I think the $5000 exemption would cover my business.. It is a small art gallery that never has more than $5000 in the account. thanks for your patience!!!

Customer:

one more thing regarding the court.. do I actually have to go to court or could I just go to the court clerk office without an appt and file what I need... I believe Gwinnett County is about 2 hours from me... and yes, I tried to work with these people at the beginning but got nowhere..

SavyLawyer :

It is my pleasure, no patience required, it is why I check to make sure there are no more questions. The credit card was unsecured, but once they have a judgment that gives them the right to go after any property you own or have a legal interest in personally. So yes, if you own a building they could try to place a lien on the building or go after your equity. They can pursue anything to which you have a legal interest, with some exceptions, such as the blanket $5000 exemption, exemptions for retirement accounts, and exemptions, a motor vehicle exemption of $3500, etc.

SavyLawyer :

You can go to the clerk of court and file the appropriate exemption, but I cannot promise that the court will have a form exemption, some do and some do not. Ultimately, you may have to request a hearing and petition the judge in person.

SavyLawyer :

I hope this helps further, and let me know if you have any further questions. Otherwise, please remember to click the ACCEPT button so that I can receive credit for my work.

Customer:

I really don't care if they put a lien on the bldg.. I would be happy to pay the debt if and when I sold it..It has been on the market.... I am not trying to avoid the debt and I do not want to file bankruptcy... I am trying to work myself out of problems but this one is a "bugger"...

SavyLawyer :

Unfortunately, that is all too common, one creditor being a stick in the mud, while someone is trying to avoid bankruptcy.

Customer:

oh and I am co-owner of the bldg if that matters..

SavyLawyer :

As long as you have an interest in the building, it is available for a judgment creditor to pursue, just like a joint checking account would be.

SavyLawyer :

I hope this chat has been helpful, and let me know if you have any further questions. Otherwise, please remember to click the ACCEPT button so that I can receive credit for my work.

Customer:

I think I have the big picture now and think I should go with the contacting an attorney idea although I have very little expendable money.. my partner has been disabled for 2 years and going through the SSI disability procedures which is a whole other nightmare !!!! so I am basically supporting 2 people.. but crap happens and we work through it.. thanks for your time..

SavyLawyer :

You are very welcome, and I wish you the best of luck. Please remember to click the ACCEPT button so that I can receive credit for my work.

SavyLawyer, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4217
Experience: Licensed to practice law, I have experience in dealing with a wide variety of legal issues.
SavyLawyer and 5 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have one more question now... I am filing a claim of exemption today because my only income is a government pension check which I understand is exempt from garnishment.. one thing I didn't understand is where the exemption "rules" said the bank would go back and look at the last 2 months deposits..my pension check each month is my only deposit.. but does this mean that I get $2000 per month so if I have more than 2 months worth of money in my account they can take that? so if I have $4500 in my account, they could take $500 ? not that I really ever have to worry about that !!!! just would like to know the answer...

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