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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 116743
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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Hello. A Bank got a judgment against me in Utah for some debt.

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Hello. A Bank got a judgment against me in Utah for some debt. I live in Idaho and they are trying to collect from me in Idaho. They are garnishing my wages and now are garnishing the wages of my wife, since Idaho is considered a community state. However, Utah is not a community state. Since the bank got a judgment against me in Utah, which is not a community state, can they garnish the wages of my wife in Idaho since Idaho is a community state?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: I still need help.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

If the debt is deemed a community debt, in that it was acquired during marriage, even though it might have been from a equitable distribution and not community property state, if you are a resident of a community property state then the judgment creditor can proceed against community assets to satisfy the debt. Whether or not they can go after community assets depends on the residence of the debtor at the time of enforcement. The only way to avoid community seizure in a community property state would be proving the debt is a true separate debt and in that case you can stop them from taking community assets.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Paul, thank you for the answer. So how would I see if the debt is a true separate debt. The debt was incurred by my company a former LLC. I had to sign a personal guarantee. My wife was not an owner of the businesses and was not involved in signing or acquiring the debt.


Thank you for your response.

It is a separate debt if it was entered into prior to marriage and if none of the debt was incurred for the benefit of the marriage. Also, it could be separate if you had a prior separate property agreement. Other than that, if the debt was incurred during marriage or for any benefit of the marriage it is presumed a community debt in Idaho and even though your wife was not an owner of the business, the business was run during the marriage and community interest is presumed because she received as spouse benefits from that business I am afraid.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for the great answer again.

A bank sent my wife on Monday a letter “Notice of Hearing” to show up 2 days later on Wednesday today to court to answer questions, for some of my personal guaranteed credit card debt. Since Idaho is a community state, they are trying to garnish my wife's wages.
We wrote a letter to the judge and sent a copy to the lawyer that she cannot appear because she is a full time mother of 3 children ages 4 and under, and to send all questions to her via mail.
The bank is disputing the exceptions my wife claimed from the garnishment form that was sent from the sheriff.
Since the bank already got the judgment against me personally, does my wife which is not named in the lawsuit really need to appear to these hearings?
What is she does not appear?
What if she does not answer questions?
What will happen.

Thank you for the new question. I saw it posted in bankruptcy, but I could not answer it there, even though it is really a consumer protection question.

If she does not appear and the court has not issued a continuance based on her need to arrange child care and the notice was last minute, which is good cause for a continuance, then the court will hold her in contempt and she can be fined for not appearing. If she is subpoenaed, she will have to appear I am afraid and will have to answer questions and present the information asked for because it is contempt of court to refuse to honor any order of the court.

She really has to appear if subpoenaed and as this is most likely going to be held a community debt under Idaho law, it is best she get a local attorney to appear and try to argue to at least keep any garnishment to a minimum or to fight to exclude as much as he can from the garnishment. But she needs to get a continuance from the court or she has to appear I am afraid.