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joem

judgment proof

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I have several credit card debts, am unemployed, and have no assets.

Am I considered "judgment proof" ? I'm not sure what that means ?

Is there any information on that ?

I received a judgment against me, and now the creditor attorney wants

me to complete a Discovery questionaire about my employment and bank

accounts. Should that have been done before judgment was rendered

by Court ?

If I need to file Bankruptcy, does "judgment proof" have any affect ?

Thanks for responses.

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I assume that the attorney obtained a default judgment against you in a court proceeding - ignoring a lawsuit isn't in your best interests - driving the attorney crazy on the other side is. Hinting that you were going to file bankruptcy should have gotten him off your back before the court proceeding took place. You will now have a judgment on your credit report for the next 7 years.

What is going to happen is that you will be called for a "judgment debtor" hearing where the court will assess your ability to pay. Yes you should answer the discovery because if you don't the attorney will file a motion to compel with the court and ask for sanctions and will try to have you found in contempt of court.

You must go to this hearing and must tell the truth. If you don't you will be found in contempt of court. If the court fines you, the fine will not be dischargable in bankruptcy.

Once the attorney has your bank account information, he will attempt to levy on your bank accounts and assets (if any). If you get a job he will attempt to garnish your wages.

You need to get yourself out of this hole asap. I would recommend filing Chapter 7 as soon as possible. As soon as you do, the automatic stay will stop all collections/lawsuits and judgments in their tracks. The filing fee is $200 and you probably could do the paperwork yourself. You can actually go down to the federal courthouse in your area and look at what other people have done.

P.S. If you were truly "judgment proof" they wouldn't have filed a lawsuit in the first place.

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I don't think judgement proof means they can't get the actual judgement, but that they can't get money out of you.

The judgement may just sit on your credit reports for years without further action being taken... until you get a job (and provided the creditor / plantiff watches for the chance). Each state has a SOL (Statute of Limitations) period of time in which the creditor has to successfully collect the money by legal means... like wage garnishment.

So right now if you have no job or income that is garnishable.. that is it, no money can be taken. Like Social Security and Unemployment - I do beleive is exempt from this type of garnishment. I am sure Ladynred can confirm this matter.

Judgements will only stay on the credit report for 7 years from the file date, no longer.

You should update your profile to show what state you live in so we can better help you quickly... otherwise check the link above for SOL to find you state and info on judgements.

*** By all means, I never ever recommend anyone to go about bankruptcy by themselves... with all the laws federal and state, it is best to have a lawyer looking out for your best interest. So you don't overlook something that may be relevent.

Right now, I don't think it is all that much of a rush on the bankruptcy (sounds like they already got the judegement) nothing you can do about that part ... and like I said (if you turely don't have assets or income) it will just sit there. The bankruptcy will just get it released... but that does not remove it from the credit report (still have 7 years / it will just be updated to reflect released).

Just be sure to follow up in court and see what happens... if you are not done incuring bills... or yet hit bottom in your individual situation (it may just be in your best interest to wait a bit longer to get all debt included that may still yet be adding up).

If you file bankruptcy before all expenses are in... then you just closed the door to them being added after having filed the bankrutpcy..

My best example on this is like medical.. if you have on going expenses which are not done yet... due to furture appointments needing to be made and future service. Then wait, don't need to come out of bankruptcy just to have more bills waiting for you.

There are two classes of thought on this matter... like the sooner you jump for bankruptcy... then maybe the better your credit will recover. But if you have on going expenses - then wait as long as possible to get them all in the same boat. Be sure to research the matter as well as have a lawyer so you are educated to contribute and ask questions as you go along.

Read through this section on the back posts to understand this side better.

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Given no assets or employment you can just go down and file 7 on your own. Since you don't own property or anything that anyone can take your risks are low. What you do with the Discovery document probably isn't going to matter much as the creditors knew your situation when they filed suit against you and probably about the only thing they don't know is whether or not you are hiding money in offshore accounts. Regardless, wages can be garnished and bank accounts levied. Anyway, you don't have a pot to pee in, so just tell them that and see where the chips fall!

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Thanks for responses.

My immediate decision seems to be whether to return Dicovery Questionaire, and what to do with bank accounts.

The discovery questionaire does not specify a return date, nor was it served by certified mail, and is not a Court Order, but does have a caption: Civil Action, Certification. (I don't think it is an official Information Subpoena)

I have a few bank accounts with only the minimun balances (Total of few

hundred dollars), just to keep them open. I understand that after obtaining bankruprutcy discharge I may not be able to open new savings/

checking accounts.

My question is should I close all accounts now, and submit questionaire without bank names. Or submit questionaire with bank names, and risk

having creditor freeze accounts, and whether the bank will then close accounts

for future use after Bankruptcy discharge.

Thanks for yours comments.

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