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Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27689
Experience:  25 years experience practicing attorney
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I have a judgment against me, I didnt know it was breaking

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I have a judgment against me, I didn't know it was breaking the law to sell property (car & Boat), what can I do if charges are filed against me for selling my property?

-Could you explain your situation a little more?
What crime are you being charged with?

Was the judgment against the property you sold?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I have a judgment against me for a credit card debt for more than $20,000, the Sheriff came by with a notice on the date the notice expired to inform me he may want to take my Car and Boat that are in my name, although I remember the summons, I do not remember getting a exempt form or notification that I had the judgment aginst me, I have subsaquently transfered the title for both the car and the boat in other family members names after the sheriff's visit, now the Sheriff is telling me I broke the law and I will be contacted by others on wheather charges will be brought against me.

Again, I did not know a judgment was a lien on my property at the time I made the transfers, I know that now, but is there any thing I can do?

Thank you


Dear Joan - This is what is called a transfer to avoid creditors and the property can be recovered by the creditor. If you had not been served with a notice to attach the property I see no violation of any criminal law however the car and the boat are subject to seizure. Once there is a suit or a judgment any transfer of assets to friends or family members for less than full value can be recovered by the creditor. This is a civil, not criminal action unless you have been served with an attachment and then transfer the property. You could be charged with fraud for that type of activity. My suggestion would be to get the property returned and turn it over to the creditor before anyone tries to take this further. At least make certain the property is available if anyone from the creditor or the sheriff shows up at your door. Do not discuss anything with anyone about this situation in the event criminal charges are filed. Anything you say could be used against you so the only thing you should do is turn over any property that has been attached.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you that is helpful, but the Sheriff said I was notified to attach the property, but I don't remember receiving anything like that, can they prove criminal intent?

Thanks again.


I can't tell you what they can prove unless I know exactly what evidence they have. Most of these cases never are actually prosecuted so long as the property is recovered, even if they have some proof that you tried to commit a crime. The general public is not always aware of the "transfer to avoid creditor" laws and it is a natural reaction to want to protect one's property. Judges understand this so if the property is turned over I doubt there will be a problem. I just cannot guarantee what other people will do so it is always possible that criminal charges could be filed and that is why I said not to talk to anyone about any of this. Just make the property available and keep quiet.
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