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Ray
Ray, Lawyer
Category: Legal
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Experience:  30 years in civil, probate, real estate, elder law
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if your spouse has a debt totally separate from you, but you

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if your spouse has a debt totally separate from you, but you have a joint bank account, can the account be garnished for the debt even though all the money deposited into the account was by you through payroll direct deposit and unemployment insurance? This is for the state of Montana which I have been lead to believe is not a community property state

RayAnswers :

Thanks for your question and good evening.

RayAnswers :

If she has a judgment here they can levy/garnish accounts in her name both separate and joint ones.

RayAnswers :

She should consider either keeping funds out of her name here or going to cash only.Unfortunately they can get at anything in a bank including joint accounts.Since both have access to a joint account the creditor can levy/garnish on it.

RayAnswers :

Again you would want to keep funds out of her name here to protect the monies.

RayAnswers :

They cannot touch anything in your name only or someone else'sname only the ones she is on here.

RayAnswers :

Montana would allow them to levy on her accounts and they would not notify you until after the facts so it can be a real surprise here and not a good one.

Customer:

I see you are in Texas, what about Montana which isnt a community property state

RayAnswers :

They can levy here--it isn't a community property issue.Any account which has her social and name on it and a joint one they can levy on it.They will keep on levying on any new ones under her name.Here is reference--its written from the other side but you can see how they can collect here.

RayAnswers :

Her remedy would be to file for bankrutpcy(solo) Chapter 7 to discharge the debt.

RayAnswers :

That way she can get these guys off her back.Or she puts it in your name and social only or goes cash only paying with money orders or cash.It's a hassle but these are your options.

RayAnswers :

Again I wish I could tell you otherwise.

RayAnswers :

Here say you weren't married but she had a joint account say with her mother even if it was her mother's money if her name is XXXXX XXXXX account and social they can levy on it to pay judgment.

RayAnswers :

She has to be careful and may want to consider Chapter 7 long term.

RayAnswers :

She can do this herself to get rid of her debts including this one and start over fresh.

Customer:

thanks

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