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About Jamcakes

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  1. Would you include in a Chapter 7 old debt, both secured and unsecured, from a decade ago along with current debt? Most of it has fallen off the credit report.
  2. A charged off credit card debt of ours was purchased by a collection agency that hired a law firm in Anaheim to represent them. We are in Texas so they cannot garnish our humble wages, but they can garnish our checking account, which would be a disaster. Our income consists of a $10/hr job my husband was grateful to get after a year of unemployment (telecom industry went belly up here), plus two small ERISA-type pensions. This amounts to $50/k less a year than before the telecom job loss. I've read that the wages of a head-of-household are exempt, as well as ERISA pension payments. Since this is all that is put into our checking account, is there some way we can protect this money against a seizure or garnishment by this law firm? I realize they are supposed to sue us first, and then win a judgement, but I would like to know if there is anything I can do to protect that money now, because I don't want to wait for the lawsuit before I act -- that's cutting it too close for me. Since it has been six month since we've payed our unsecured debt, I expect this will situation will occur more often now. I found something on the internet called an Anti-Garnishment Letter on a site by the Legal Hotline for Older Texans which is a project of Texas Legal Services Center. I could send that to my bank's local branch, the main office in California, and their legal department also in California, but even if it did not get bungled by bureaucratic ineptitude, and found its way to my account, I suspect it would provide everyone with a great laugh as they gaily seize my meager funds. I've been told that the collectors use an account locator to find bank accounts. It was suggested to me to find a bank far from here...like in another state. Wouldn't the account locator find my checking account anywhere, or must they manually enter every bank they want to check? I was told they will certainly check all the banks close to my home. Would an internet bank offer more protection, and are there any reputable ones? I was also told that credit unions don't subscribe to the account locator service, but who knows if this is accurate. I'm not filing Chapter 7 yet because we JUST stopped using our remaining two credit cards...just to buy groceries, prescriptions, gas, doctors and to pay for vet bills. We have no choice but to stop now since we're maxed out, so I need to let the required two months pass before we file. My DH just got a better job that pays 50 percent more, which is now only $35K less than before, so we should be able to cover the basics without the cards, not that we have any choice. I'm sorry for the length of this. I deeply appreciate any and all advice.