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Tina
Tina, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 8775
Experience:  JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
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I do not think you can help me because I cannot even afford

Customer Question

I do not think you can help me because I cannot even afford to pay anything right now. I am a professional woman and have been working in my career for 26 years. My husband holds a master
JA: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Missouri. Sorry I sent my message before i was finished. In a nutshell, my wages and bank account have been garnished by Discover. I am a professional working woman and a series of health issues and other things have gotten me into this position. I am desperate to get my money back and I feel i have no recourse. I am in a state of depression. It is so embarrassing. I cannot pay for this advice so I do not expect an answer.
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: No. I cannot afford one
JA: Anything else you think the lawyer should know?
Customer: NO
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Barrister replied 6 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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Have you been sued with the creditor getting a judgment against you in court?

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Were you served with a notice of garnishment once they executed the garnishment on the account?

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Does the notice give you any specific time to appeal the garnishment?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I have been sued with the creditor and when that happened I set up an automatic withdrawal payment plan. Unfortunately, I got behind on the payments and now the garnishments have happened. I just received the notice of garnishment on my bank account yesterday. I was unable to access my account last Friday, August 26. The notice tells me I can file a Judgment Debtor's Claim for Exemption. I do not know what this means. I spoke with the law office that issued the garnishment and they told me the hold on my account is until September 15 and then they will consider setting up a payment plan. But I believe they will take the full amount of my next paycheck which is September 9. I need my money yesterday. We are dependent on both of our incomes, my husband and I.
Expert:  Barrister replied 6 months ago.

Thank you for that information. I understand your situation and I am not expecting you to pay for this answer. I can't guarantee that it will be good news though..

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The notice tells me I can file a Judgment Debtor's Claim for Exemption. I do not know what this means

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That means that you can file a claim to have the money not garnished if you have a legal reason for it. Typically this would be if it were retirement income, or Social Security, or Disability payments.

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So if this is just money that you earned from working your normal job, then it wouldn't be exempt so it wouldn't do any good to file requesting an exemption. Financial hardship doesn't qualify as a legal exemption reason.

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With that said, the garnishment order is only good one time for an account.. So when they seized the account balance, that it all they get for that garnishment order. If they wanted to try again, they need a new order.

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So you need to contact your employer and change where they deposit your money. Open a new account at a different bank or have it go into an account in husband's name at a different bank, one that they aren't aware of. That will keep them from garnishing again.

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If they are offering a payment plan once this garnishment becomes final, then that is going to be your best bet if you can reach an agreement you can financially live with..

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Otherwise, you may want to consider filing for bankruptcy to completely discharge this debt and any others and get a new fresh start without these debts hanging over your head..

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thanks

Barrister

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Customer: replied 6 months ago.
This was actually quite helpful. I do have a new payment plan set up and this will happen after they take part of my next paycheck. I was able to negotiate a lower settlement and lower my monthly payment. This debt I have accrued is very embarrassing. My husband and I both have professional careers and health insurance. But life has thrown us some "zingers" shall we say. Thanks for the advice. One more question. I am still unclear about not being able to be garnished again at my current bank? I can change banks if this is a good idea. Can you clarify the reason to do that ?
Thanks!
Expert:  Barrister replied 6 months ago.

One more question. I am still unclear about not being able to be garnished again at my current bank?

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They can, but they would have to get a new garnishment order. A garnishment order is only good once. So each time they want to do it, they have to get a new order. It isn't a big deal to do it, as it goes through the clerks rather than the judge, but it is a little bit of a pain..

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thanks

Barrister