How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Lucy, Esq. Your Own Question

Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 18808
Experience:  Lawyer
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Lucy, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am listed as a co signer on 6 different loans, totaling a

Customer Question

I am listed as a co signer on 6 different loans, totaling a large sum. They are private student loans, and the person has defaulted. I have been in no position to pay, so the company that bought the loans has proceeded in taking action. I just received a summons for one of the loans, and with current interest and whatever fees I am being sued for just over $40,000 on this one loan. I had tried everything before this ever got to this point, but this company did not care, they wanted all or nothing, and denied any of my attempts to get them to work with me. Now I am in even less of a position to pay anything, even in the case of a judgement. Since 2007 I have been unable to find work. I do not have a degree, and for many other reasons, I will never be able to find work that would allow for the kind of income needed to pay these loans. For the reason the home and vehicle I owned I was forced to sell, before it got to a point I could not make payments any longer. I am now married, but was not before at the time of these loans. I moved into my husband's home, which I am not listed on the title for. Due to these loans I found out banks now check credit when you apply to open an account, so I also do not have any bank accounts. I understand there is very little left for them to collect on, even if a judgement is entered at this point, but it is still a concern. I know they can put in to garnish at least our state tax refund, but it does not look as if they are able to garnish our federal tax refund. The last possibility I can find that they are able to do is get a writ to send a sheriff to our home to seize personal property inside of our home. We are married, but I consider this first and formost my husband's home. Very little in the home would I consider solely owned by me. We have 4 children together and another one on the way, and I consider most items in the home to belong to my husband or children. Other than some TV's I feel there is very little of value in the home worth taking, but am still scared that they may be able to clean out our home and leave only the minimum items protected. My husband and children are innocent in this, so are there any protections in place to keep their assets safe. I understand that since this is my residence, and we are married most items are looked at as joint assets, regardless of how I view it. So what can we do in this matter? Also am I over reacting in thinking they could potentially come in and take my children's toys and Christmas presents? To what extent would they normally take things in our home not listed under the clothing, etc exemptions? Could they even take my engagement ring? Even with my husband's income we rely on our federal tax refund to help us get through the year, so a large settlement would be out of the question, and they won't accept anything short of the full amount anyway. I am guessing once this suit has gone through I can expect to receive possible summons on the additional loans involved. I have contacted 3 attorneys in our area, and so far 2 have responded telling me they do not wish to become involved in my case after review, and will not even offer a free consult or any additional information. So fighting the summons seems a lost cause at this point, so now I just need information on our rights.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

My name is XXXXX XXXXX X'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation.

You are correct that, since you are married, all things in the property will be considered joint assets. MichiganStat., Section(NNN) NNN-NNNN/a> lays out the list of personal items that may not be taken to satisfy a judgment. It includes:

(a) All family pictures, all arms and accouterments required by law to be kept by any person, all wearing apparel of every person and his or her family, and provisions and fuel for comfortable subsistence of each householder and his or her family for 6 months.

(b) All household goods, furniture, utensils, books, and appliances, not exceeding in value $1,000.00.

(c) A seat, pew, or slip occupied by the judgment debtor or the judgment debtor's family in a house or place of public worship, and all cemeteries, tombs, and rights of burial while in use as repositories of the dead of the judgment debtor's family or kept for burial of the judgment debtor.

(d) To each householder, 10 sheep, 2 cows, 5 swine, 100 hens, 5 roosters, and a sufficient quantity of hay and grain, growing or otherwise, for properly keeping the animals and poultry for 6 months.

(e) The tools, implements, materials, stock, apparatus, team, vehicle, motor vehicle, horses, harness, or other things to enable a person to carry on the profession, trade, occupation, or business in which the person is principally engaged, not exceeding in value $1,000.00.

 

So, they cannot take your clothes. They could only take toys/Christmas presents that exceed $1,000 in value . As a practical matter, what the company wants is their money back. They don't want items that don't get a high priced used, because they wouldn't make enough from the sale to even cover the costs of advertising/running it.

Unfortunately, a student loan company may attach your federal tax refund, and student loan debts may not be discharged in bankruptcy. They can take and sell your engagement ring and any other jewelry. Whether they're likely to do so will depend on the value.

You also have a right to sue the person who actually took out the loans, promised to pay, and defaulted. In doing so, this person has breached the agreement that you made and is causing you damage. You can sue the other person for indemnification. What that means is filing a Cross Complaint that says that the other person is responsible, you should not have to pay these amounts, and that, if the company gets any money from you, the other party has to pay you back.

If you have any questions at all about what I've written, please reply so that I may address them. It's important to me that you are 100% satisfied with the service I provide. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so that I get credit for helping you today. Thank you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So are you saying that they won't take items unless they are valued at over $1000 or that they only have to leave a total of $1000 worth and can take anything over. For instance, our refrigerator is right around $1000, so does that mean they could take all other appliances over that? I can count on one hand the items in our home worth about $1000. Do they value the item at what they can get for it, or what it would be worth new? Since items would be considered joint in our home, what about my husband's interest in the items? Are there any items he can claim as his solely? Do they just walk around the house, or do they go through every nook and cranny? Most furnishings and everything in our home are inexpensive, it is hard to imagine they would bother with it, but it still worries me. Will they keep coming back to your home over and over? I also read that only federally backed student loans can attach your federal tax refund, not private ones, which these are, is this not the case?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
They are not likely to enter your house and poke around. It's generally not worth the time and effort it takes them to take and auction off items. There would have to be some evidence that there were items of value in your home. They can give you a questionnaire where you list items you have and what they're worth, which is far easier for them.

What the statute says is that all household goods and appliances not exceeding $1,000 in value are exempt. That's not a cumulative total. Toys aren't a household good, but they're also not likely to be worth enough that a creditor is going to take them. Items are valued at what a used item is worth on the market. For example, a 10 year old TV would be worth very little, even though the cost to you of replacing that TV would be quite high. They're not interested in making you go out and replace all your belongings - that's actually counterproductive, because, again, what they want is money.

Only the federal and state governments can attach a tax refund. Be very sure that none of these loans are federally backed. I've seen loans that were thought to be private but turned out not to be.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am sorry to write back again, but I am still not quite understanding your wording on the $1000 value exemption. You said it is not a cumulative total, so are you saying each item not worth $1000 is exempt?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Not all items, period. But all appliances, pieces of furniture, household goods, utensils, and books worth less than $1,000 are exempt.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So all of these items each worth less than that individually, are exempt, at least items falling under these categories. Just items not in these categories, such as toys, electronics, etc, the value does not matter if they choose to take it. Am I right with that understanding now?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Right. And electronics are valued at what they're worth used, which is always substantially less than what you paid for them.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 18808
Experience: Lawyer
Lucy, Esq. and 18 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your continuous responses to help me understand. The items left in our home after that would barely cover the costs of collecting them, with as many children as we have, we buy a lot used anyway, so most everything in our home is well loved.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
It's not worth their time and energy to take the items and sell them if they're not going to get any money after doing so. Most personal possessions are safe, although they could take high value items. Have a good weekend. I'm glad I could help.

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it. Lee Michigan
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8201
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8201
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    19419
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FL/FLAandNYLawyer/2012-1-27_14349_3Fotolia25855429M.64x64.jpg FiveStarLaw's Avatar

    FiveStarLaw

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    8122
    25 years of experience helping people like you.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/jespoag/2008-12-17_222355_jessepic.jpg JPEsq's Avatar

    JPEsq

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    2131
    Experience as general attorney, in house counsel, SSDI, Family Law attorney, and law professor
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/gsenmartin/2008-04-22_214950_me1.jpg Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.'s Avatar

    Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    83
    7+ years of experience handling various legal matters.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PA/PaulmoJD/2013-10-10_195858_JAImage.64x64.jpg Law Educator, Esq.'s Avatar

    Law Educator, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    30758
    JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    15340
    Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.