Dear Customer, thank you for using our service. My name is Bill and I would like to assist you today.
I am sorry to learn about this unfortunate situation. While I do not have all of the facts, and it appears that there may have been some impropriety in the way this judgment was entered, you will need some legal help in resolving this matter (you will want to hire an attorney, perhaps 2, to help you get a final resolution to this).
First and foremost, the issue with the garnishment - you say that the garnishment far exceeds that allowable under BC/BS rules and guidelines for your income and assets (Based on your statement, I would be inclined to agree, but a more detailed review of your information is necessary). You will want a civil litigation attorney to appear on your behalf in the Court that issued the judgment and garnishment order to assert your rights (both exemptions, and limitations on the BC/BS as well as Medi-Cal withholdings - that is the proper court to deal with the creditor on this matter.
Secondly, based on your statement of the facts in this case, you should not be held liable for an intentional tort of your wife - you can be held liable for negligent acts (which are dischargeable), but not intentional torts. You should be able to hire a competent bankruptcy attorney to petition the Court in your most recent bankruptcy matter to recategorize this debt to allow you to discharge this debt as part of the bankruptcy (you can do this even if the bankruptcy is closed). This is a rather complicated matter procedurally, and given their past history of prowess, I would again recommend using counsel.
Unfortunately, I am not permitted to give specific referrals on this forum. I can however give you a couple of sites that will be helpful in locating a local attorney. You can find attorneys on your State Bar Association’s website: (http://www.alabar.org/lrs/); Martindale Hubble: (http://www.martindale.com/); or, on AVVO: (http://www.avvo.com/find-a-lawyer).
To keep costs down, I recommend finding an attorney that is working in a small firm or as a solo practitioner. A newer attorney usually charges slightly less than a more experienced attorney, while the more experienced attorneys are usually a little more efficient. In the end, you need to find an attorney that you feel comfortable with, and it is okay to speak with more than one before retaining one.
Given the nature of your work, it is possible that you can find an attorney sympathetic to your plight that is willing to work out a deal with you on your fees - but do not short yourself with legal representation that is not appropriate for your job in order to save too much in fees, you really need experts in this case.
Can you tell me whether in regards to garnishment, if you are employed, the garnishment order would have to go to your employer who you have a contract with, not each individual insurance company. The amount that is billed to the insurance company is what your employer uses to pay people in billing, collections etc as well as other overhead prior to anything else. In my situation, as an employee, shouldn't I be garnished at my salary minus taxes and then at a maximum of 25%. I do not believe I am treated any different under garnishment law as a salaried employee than anybody else just because of the profession I chose. I cannot see how they can go directly to an insurance company over the employer who contractually has assignment of benefits. If that is true then they are garnishing 100% of revenue that is not even yours. CCPA does not discriminate against professions. Is it legal to take 100% of revenue from an employed, salaried lawyer of a large firm, discounting his salary all together prior to the firm taking its share. Garnishment would be based on his salary, not what the company brought in at 100%. You are at that point garnishing the employer at 100% who did nothing. Should not, by law, your employer garnish the employed per state or federal guidelines. BC/BS has no garnishment guidelines. They follow the orders of the court for their employees, of which I am not one, which is dictated by the CCPA.
The only circumstances under which the creditor would be allowed to collect directly from BC/BS would be if the funds were allocated directly to you by contract (meaning you bill BC/BS, and they pay you, out of that money you pay the hospital). If you are an employee of the hospital (as it appears you are) then your analysis is correct and the levy is improper.
This is where you would use a civil litigation attorney to contest the levy. (You may even be able to force the creditor to return those funds which were improperly levied).
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