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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 89126
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I have just been served by papers taped to my front door regarding

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I have just been served by papers taped to my front door regarding an old credit card debt which with penalties would amount to over $60000. I would like to know the potential steps that could be taken if I do not respond to this type of service and while the debt is in my name I am married and my home is in my wifes name. can they come after her as well. We are also considering bankruptcy
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am sorry for your situation.

If you do not respond to this summons, then the following may occur:

1) The Plaintiff (i.e. the company alleging the debt) will receive what is known as a default judgment. In other words, they would get a judgment in their name without the actual trial, due to no answer being filed;

2) The Plaintiff may then ask that the judgment be paid OR they can do one of the following: (a) attach up to 25% of a paycheck,(b) levy a bank account, and/or (c) lien a titled property. While very rarely, they can (d) attach non-exempt assets for sale to satisfy judgment. However, much of what someone owns is exempt from being attached to this. See here;

3) While a spouse is not responsible for the other spouse's debt in WV generally speaking, they can still attach a joint account or property. If the home is in her name only, it is (arguably) exempt;

4) A bankruptcy would generally void the debt/judgment and/or reduce it to pennies on the dollar. Please let me know if you need any more information on the above or anything else.

Please note: I aim to give you genuine information and not necessarily to tell you only what you wish to hear. Please, rate me on the quality of my information and do not punish me for my honesty. I understand that hearing things less than optimal is not easy, and I empathize.

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

xMy home in Arizona is in my wifes name is it likely that thay can attach the home. Also I am 71 years old what happens if I choose to retire and have only SS income. Can I retire and then immediately choose bankruptcy

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
S,

You had entered West Virginia for the state, so I assumed that you were in WV. I am still assuming this, and am understanding from your follow up that you simply have another home in AZ. Correct me if I am wrong.

is it likely that thay can attach the home.

Depends on the attorney. The most commonly used method of obtaining asset information after judgment is by using "post-judgment discovery" available to the plaintiff - this involves the Plaintiff sending Defendant requests for financial information, that the Defendant is lawfully mandated to fill out and list everything, under oath and threat of contempt. However, there are other ways to find property/assets as well:

1. Dissolution Decrees and Property Settlement Agreements;
2. Statements and Schedules in a dismissed bankruptcy case;
3. UCC Filings;
4. Secretary of State Department of Motor Vehicles;
5. Credit Reports;
6. Corporation Commission;
7. County Assessor’s Office; and
8. County Recorder’s Office.

So it really depends on how thorough the attorney is and how wide they cast their net. Some can be very nuanced, and some barely even try. It depends on how much they are getting paid, mostly. Honestly, if it is in another state and not in your name, the chance is unlikely. Also, it is arguably exempt, anyhow.

Also I am 71 years old what happens if I choose to retire and have only SS income.

Under Section 207 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 407), no private creditor can garnish your SSI, SSDI, or other type of SSA income.

Can I retire and then immediately choose bankruptcy

Technically, yes. One may even do so without waiting to file for bankruptcy.

Gentle Reminder: Please use the REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE and submit your rating when we are finished.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

There seems to be a mistake My state is Arizona .the address and zip I submitted are accurate

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Ah, my apologies!

Well the bulk of my answer stays the same, actually. I will simply modify it a bit to fit AZ:

1) The Plaintiff (i.e. the company alleging the debt) will receive what is known as a default judgment. In other words, they would get a judgment in their name without the actual trial, due to no answer being filed;

2) The Plaintiff may then ask that the judgment be paid OR they can do one of the following: (a) attach up to 25% of a paycheck,(b) levy a bank account, and/or (c) lien a titled property. While very rarely, they can (d) attach non-exempt assets for sale to satisfy judgment. Again, much is exempt, but in AZ, the list may be seen here.

3) While a spouse is not responsible for the other spouse's debt in WV generally speaking, they can still attach a joint account or property. If the home is in her name only, it is (arguably) exempt;

4) A bankruptcy would generally void the debt/judgment and/or reduce it to pennies on the dollar. Please let me know if you need any more information on the above or anything else.


The very same applies to the home and them finding it, except if it is in her name only, then it is arguably already exempt anyhow.

Gentle Reminder: Please use the REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE and submit your rating when we are finished.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I have no home in WV That was just some kind of error I must have made. I live in AZ and it is the only home I have (it is in my wifes name)

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Stanley,

I understand that. I have adjusted my answer to reflect that. It mostly stays the same, except the exempt assets link is changed from WV to AZ. See below:

1) The Plaintiff (i.e. the company alleging the debt) will receive what is known as a default judgment. In other words, they would get a judgment in their name without the actual trial, due to no answer being filed;

2) The Plaintiff may then ask that the judgment be paid OR they can do one of the following: (a) attach up to 25% of a paycheck,(b) levy a bank account, and/or (c) lien a titled property. While very rarely, they can (d) attach non-exempt assets for sale to satisfy judgment. Again, much is exempt, but in AZ, the list may be seen here.

3) While a spouse is not responsible for the other spouse's debt in WV generally speaking, they can still attach a joint account or property. If the home is in her name only, it is (arguably) exempt;

4) A bankruptcy would generally void the debt/judgment and/or reduce it to pennies on the dollar. Please let me know if you need any more information on the above or anything else.

The very same applies to the home and them finding it, except if it is in her name only, then it is arguably already exempt anyhow.

Gentle Reminder: Please use the REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE and submit your rating when we are finished.
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 89126
Experience: Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Ely
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