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Lady Themis
Lady Themis, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 7751
Experience:  General practice experience in many areas of law
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I have a defaulted PRIVATE STUDENT LOAN through Chase that

Customer Question

I have a defaulted PRIVATE STUDENT LOAN through Chase that has been referred to National Recovery Group collection agency which I am sure eventually will seek a court judgement against myself and my cosigner. My question is: Since my loans are private loans will they still be able to garnish our bank account or wages? Will they be able to intercept our tax refunds? Will they be able to go after my cosigners bank account, house, or tax refunds if they are in a joint nature with her husband? Thank you.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Lady Themis replied 6 years ago.

Thank you for your question.


Wages cannot be garnished for private student loans in Pennsylvania. However, bank accounts can once a judgment is obtained. Wages that are direct deposited into a bank account are subject to the garnishment as well.


In Florida, wages can be garnished, but the head of household can claim an exemption from garnishment unless the wages are more than $500 per week or the debtor has agreed in writing to allow the garnishment. Bank accounts can also be garnished.


In both states, the creditor can claim an exemption up to a certain amount on personal property, which includes money held in bank accounts.


Private lenders cannot intercept your income tax refunds.


Yes, the lender can go after your cosigner's bank account and other assets just as it can yours. If she owns assets jointly with her husband, he can claim an exemption to the extent of his ownership interest in the property.


I hope this information is helpful. Please let me know if you have any follow up questions.




Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for your prompt reply. I have read instances where a collection agency has frozen bank accounts in an attempt to force the debtor to contact them. Is this legal or even possible in either state? If a judgement is granted to the creditor to garnish our bank accounts, how long does that process usually take and will we receive notification before they start garnishing the accounts? Thank you.
Expert:  Lady Themis replied 6 years ago.

The accounts cannot be frozen without a prior court judgment.


How long it takes the creditor to freeze accounts following a judgment is up to the particular creditor. It is not automatic once judgment enters, and some creditors take longer than others to enforce their judgment.


When bank accounts are frozen, the bank first receives notification to freeze your account, and then you are notified of the levy. You then have an opportunity to "unfreeze" the account by filing exemptions that may apply.



Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you. We will receive proper notification of any judgement precedings as they occur?
Expert:  Lady Themis replied 6 years ago.
You should receive proper notification. In cases where debt collectors are involved, sometimes they don't follow proper procedure in notifying you and locating you, and the court may allow service by publication in the newspaper, which you may not see. If some time goes by without any contact, you may check your credit report to find that a default judgment entered against you. In that case, some debtors will hire an attorney to successfully reopen the case for improper service of process.