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HELP ASAP...Motion to Claim Exemptions ...Recovering Atty?

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Recovering Atty or anyone who has a clue...I really need help preparing this Motion to Claim Exempt Property. They got their silly judgement in Aug and when nothing came right away I forgot about it, with all else going on in my life. Now it is here and I need to get it mailed to them by mid-week to have it to them by the date required, and also a copy to the court.

I just do NOT have the time nor money to seek advice from a local atty. Now, if I have to, I will find a way, but I am praying that someone here can help me with this. I am just about at the point to short circuit. Let's see...my dh is deployed for a couple more weeks for training and then will be heading to Iraq in a couple months! With him gone it is just absolutely crazy handling even the everyday things, let alone the other things that have come up. I had to take our 12 yod, the one with the heart defects, to the ER with extreme pain. She could hardly walk. Turns out she has two very large ovarian cysts, which may just require delicate surgery! So tomorrow we have appts for that and for our youngest daughter's asthma, which has been causing problems. Thank the Lord, our other daughter with the tumor is stable right now, as well as our two boys! We just found out that the company who handles the loan my husband pays on for old student loans had four computers stolen, including one with all his info on it! Yikes! Where is the Calgon?

There is a number of other things and I am about in tears right now with all this. Please if you can help, I would greatly appreciate it. At least we have settled the matter with my ex.

Here are my questions I have about this whole thing. And then in a second post in this same thread I am going to list some of the actual parts of this form so that you can more clearly see what I am trying to figure out. :)

First of all...when they come to try and collect anything...how do they do that? Will they be able to go through (search) my whole house? I have nothing to hide, but just want to be prepared as to what to expect to happen.

I don't have anything...I mean, everything I have was paid for by my husband, as I don't work. I am having trouble figuring out what I should list on there. The vehicles are paid off and in my husband's name only. The house is not paid off and is in my husband's name only. We removed my name off everything a few months ago, as I previously explained.

The only things that could be considered "mine", although I didn't pay for them, are my dresser, my clothes, my wedding ring and a few toiletries. All that falls way below the $3500 in exemptions I am allotted.

Do I indeed list my dresser, my wedding ring, and every article of clothing, though I didn't pay for them? Common sense tells me I would list anything that is mine, even if it were a gift. But is the dresser really considered that? I mean, it is really my husband's and belongs to a set he bought. It does mention clothing, but the whole section (which I will describe in the next post) is just a few lines, not enough to list all. Not sure if that is put down as a whole.

There is a sewing machine and serger my husband bought, but they are not just mine, as my daughters are learning to sew with them.

Oh, and there is one thing in my name...this computer I am writing on from Dell. But I pay payments on it, still owing $761. Probably a bit more than what I could get for it if I sold it. So that doesn't have me worried.

If they do go through my house, how do they establish what is mine and what isn't?

Okay, well I am going to end this post and start the "reply". In it will be the specifics.

I really do appreciate any help, but if you cannot give any I do understand and will just have to do my best!

God bless!


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Going through the form noting anything important...I will number my questions so they more readily stand out.

I have to put down my husband's name, current address and who is dependent on me for support.

1) Okay...my children aren't dependent on me for support, are they? I don't work. Now they are dependent on me in ways, but this means financial, right?

Next it says:

"I wish to claim as exempt (keep from being taken) my interest in the following real or personal property that I use as a residence." Then it says this cannot be more than $10,000.

Well, I don't have any interest in our property. This is not a community property state (NC) and I am not on the mortgage/deed anymore.

It has a place where I put street address of residence, county where property located, township, no. by which tax assessor identifies property, legal description, name of owner of residence, estimated value of residence ("what you think you could sell it for"), amount of lien and name and address of lienholder, current amount owed.

2) What do I do? Do I have to answer all that? What if I don't know the legal description and all? What do I put in the part about what I could get for it? I couldn't get anything, as "I" don't own it! I am not worried, as I said. In fact, my husband had just refinanced last year and right now what we owe is about what we could sell it for, so he wouldn't even make any money on it at this point in time! BUT again...I need to know how to fill it out. Doesn't seem right to have to fill anything out besides the address and the fact that my husband owns it!

Next it says:

"I wish to claim the following personal property consisting of household furnishings, household goods, wearing apparel, appliances, books, animals, crops or musical instruments as exempt from the claims of my creditors (in other words, keep them from being taken from me). These items of personal property are held primarily for my personal, family or household use.

"I understand that I am entitled to personal property worth the sum of $3500.00. I understand that I am also entitled to an additional $750.00 for each person dependent on me for support, but not to exceed $3000.00 for dependents. I further understand that I am entitled to this amount after deducting from the value of the property the amount of any valid lien or security interest. Property purchased within 90 days of this proceeding is not exempt."

Then I list item, fair market value, amount of lien or security interest, name of lienholder, value of debtor's interest.

3) Help! Here is where I must put clothing. There are three lines. Do I put just "clothing" and the value of it. Or do I need to attach a list of every piece of clothing I own? Do I put my dresser or is it considered my husband's based on what I said above? I would think I only put my clothing, wedding ring, and computer. Every other appliance and item in this house is for the family and bought by my husband. Right? How do they figure out who everything belongs to? I mean, it is common sense to me, but what will they do about all our things if there is no proof of who bought it. Like the sewing machines...there is a receipt I think in my file cabinet, but it doesn't say a name.

Even if I had to put down things like that it doesn't come to over $3500. That is why I want to know what to put down. If I need to, I will. But then again I don't want to list things that really aren't considered "Mine" because that looks as though they are mine.

It then goes on to state:

"I wish to claim my interest in the following motor vehicle as exempt from the claims of my creditors. I understand that I am entitled to my interest in one motor vehicle worth the sum of $1500.00 after deduction of any valid liens or security interests. I understand that a motor vehicle purchased within ninety days of this proceeding is not exempt."

4) I guess I don't put anything down. I don't have any vehicle in my name! I have the titles/registrations as proof.

Then there is a section to claim any other items, which still come out of that $3500 allowed. Actually I guess this is where I would list my wedding ring, as it is none of the things mentioned above.

5) Then it goes to another section where I can exempt items of health care for me or my dependents. My children with asthma have a nebulizer, but I wouldn't put anything as first of all, they aren't my dependents in that I don't support them financially, and secondly, I didn't buy the equipment to begin with. Also, my dh has a blood pressure set, which falls under the same thing.

6) Next is a claim for implements, professional books, or tools (not to exceed $750.00) of my trade or the trade of my dependents. I forgot...I also have some books on midwifery (I plan to intern and become a midwife when dh retires in a few years). The books, he paid for, were bought mainly for me, although my daughter plans to become a midwife one day also. I have a fetoscope (a fetal stethoscope), also, which my dh bought me when I had our last child at home. The value of these things is not over $750, so I am not worried again. Just trying to figure out what to list. Do I list all my books individually? There are quite a bit of them?

What about our family medical books and such? I have used them, and so has my husband. He bought them. Since they were not bought for "me" and I didn't buy them do I just leave them off? We homeschool and have tons of books, but they are purchased by my dh for the family.

7)There is an exemption claim for life insurance policies whose sole beneficiaries are my dh and children. I am on the military life insurance, but I have no clue as to the policy number or anything. We didn't receive anything about it (the military sets this stuff up). Any hints here?

8) Last is a list of all my property which I do not claim as exempt. That is nothing, for sure!

This is all. Forgive me for such a long post. Please understand the stress of this and forgive me for asking too much of anyone in helping me with all this. I appreciate any and all help anyone can give me!

The Lord bless you!


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You might call the lawyer who sent it to you and see if he will take the answers over the phone. Tell him you are confused, you can't hire a lawyer to help you, and you have nothing to hide but nothing to give them. If they take your answers over teh phone, they will be able to see that, and you avoid giving a aworn statement. Do not tell them you changed title , just say the house and cars are in your H's name. See if that doesn't slow them down.

No one will come to inspoect your house. Someone may want to sniff around the cars. But remind them a local newspaper reporter has contacted you about how creditors are treating you while your husband is in the military heading to Iraq and you are eager to share your experience to help others. Catch my drift?

Does the base your DH is at have an ombudsman? There are relief laws , state and federal, for members of the military. They should help you with that information. Maybe there is a provision to help you since he is your sole support.

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Ok, first lets try to chill a bit, panic never helps.

Now, your children ARE your dependents, even if you have no income of your own, they are supported BY YOU thru household income - which just happens to be your husband's only.

YOUR "interest" in the household goods, no matter who paid for them, would be considered at least 50% for common household furnishings and appliances. No, NC is not a community property state, but since you do derive benefit from those items as marital property, you have an 'interest' in those items. Personal property is valued at GARAGE SALE prices - not what it would cost you to replace it or what you paid for it.

They are not going to take your wedding ring, believe me when I tell you its not worth as much as you value it. Jewelry has a very high markup (40% or more) so whatever he paid for it, take off 1/2, then take off a bit more for wear and tear and age, and you might get that much for it if you wanted to sell it in a hurry.

When it comes to clothing just make it a one-line entry "clothing $xxx.xx", they don't need an inventory of your wardrobe unless you're hiding a Versace dress collection ;).

Same goes for the equipment needed for your children's healthcare. They can't take that kind of thing away from your children w/o endangering their health. Anything specifically belonging to your husband is exempt.

The vehicles - not titled or registered in your name, they are NOT yours. This kind of thing is easily provable with the proper papers. Claim them as 100% exempt - and state that they are neither registered nor titled in your name, only in your husband's name. You CAN attach a 2nd piece of paper to these things, just make sure its very orgranized and referenced to the form. Same goes for the house - its deeded in his name, they cannot touch it.

You don't have to list all your books, again, a 1-liner is acceptable. They're lookng for items that would bring $$$ in a sheriff's sale - like 1st editions and such. A batch of books at a yard sale would get you 50 cents to MAYBE $2 each.

Life insurance - unless YOU own these polices outright and they have cash value, I wouldn't worry about them, they're not an asset YOU can cash in on.

Unless you moved into your husbands already fully-furnished home and you brought NOTHING into the household, its going to look somewhat 'off' to claim your children aren't your dependents and you own absolutely nothing except your clothes and your wedding ring. While it does happen that way, most of the things you acquire during a marriage is, in some part, yours since you derive benefit from them. A 50% interest of garage sale priced furnishings should still get you WELL below the allowed exemptions. Most people lose nothing.

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Something is not right with your situation. This shouldn't be happening because your husband is in the military and will soon be deployed. I know its voting time, but you need to inform your local Congressmen or State Senator, of what is going on. The Judge should know better! But he must be a real a$$.

Get your story out to them now!

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Her DH wasn't sued. It was just her for a CC in her name only.

They redid the Soldiers' & Sailors' Relief Act in 2003. It's now the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.

It should help if your DH has any loans above 6% interest :D

Servicemembers Civil Relief Act(SCRA) Bill # H.R.100

Now that it is enacted into law, H.R. 100 will also:

· Clarify and restate existing law that limits to 6 percent interest on credit obligations, including credit card debt, for active duty servicemembers. HR 100 unambiguously states that no interest above 6 percent can accrue for credit obligations while on active duty, nor can that excess interest become due once the servicemember leaves active duty – instead that portion above 6 percent is permanently forgiven.

Furthermore, the monthly payment must be reduced by the amount of interest saved during the covered period.

For figuring out the value of your belongings. Use it's the end of the day & I got to get rid of this crap yard sale prices.

Books,Tapes, CD's; Clothes; Dishes; Costume Jewelry - .10 - $2.00; VCR , DVD Player- $25;, Stereo $25 - $100 ; Sewing Machine, Vacuum, TV - $25 - $50; Stove, Fridge, Washer-Dryer - $50 - $200, Couch, Tables, Chairs - $10 - $75; Furn Sets - $100 - $300; Computer $200 - $400, Wedding Ring - If you pawned it they would only give you 20 - 25% of it's value.

I am a bargain hunter & electronics are about the only thing I buy new. Most of my household stuff I got at estate & garage sales, thrift shops, auctions & flea markets. So if you need any help figuring out the value of anything just let me know.

Good luck to you and your family.1hugs.gif

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I really appreciate all of your help!

I am sorry if I confused any of you...it is MY cc/judgement, not dh's.

Recovering Atty, you had some good suggestions. Unfortunately the CA refuses to help me out on this at all! So I have to file this form! :( I liked your reminder about the newspaper reporter! :)

LadynRed, that was good advice..."chill out"! The day I posted those original requests I was having a very "freaked out" day! :) I felt much better the next day.

What you said is what I had been suspecting...that though it is not community property in NC, still I do get use and benefit from a lot of our things. AND it is true, as I started adding everything up, that it will all be way below the $3500! I had forgotten about the garage sale/flea market pricing! Whew!

Now, about the cars and house...you mentioned putting them down as 100% exempt. This form doesn't provide for that. It is either list it according to their exemptions ($10,000 for the house and $1500 for one car), or don't list at all. So I am pretty sure this is why you mentioned attaching another paper, where I could list and explain those things, and just not put them down on the actual form, since they don't really "apply". Does that sound right?

Chancy949, you are correct; we do have free legal on base. The reason I hadn't mentioned that and wasn't going with that is because they have been having LONG waiting times and first come, first serve for a month or so now. Everyone my husband has talked with who has gone there has waited hours and hours. I honestly don't mind waiting hours for FREE legal advice, but right now it is not feasible for me. I need to get this sent right away and with my dh gone I just don't have the time to wait. Especially with the children and the appts we have had with my daughters, etc... Also, we homeschool, so I am quite busy all day.

I will admit, even if I had the time I am a bit nervous about what they might say/do. I fear they might want to get more "involved" because of concerns about our finances. Know what I mean? That may be silly, but I don't really trust gov't when it comes to a lot of things anymore! My husband's credit is good (except for an terrible issue with Duke Medical Ctr that I actually plan to post here about when this stuff settles down).

Baglady, thank you so much for the help! Now, the info we have received on the Servicemember's Civil Relief Act actually added another part:

"Clarifies and restates existing law that limits to 6 percent interest on credit obligations incurred prior to military service or activation, including credit card debt, for active duty servicemembers. The SCRA unambiguously states that no interest above 6 percent can accrue for credit obligations (that were established prior to active duty or activation) while on active duty, nor can that excess interest become due once the servicemember leaves active duty – instead that portion above 6 percent is permanently forgiven. Furthermore, the monthly payment must be reduced by the amount of interest saved during the covered period.

NOTE: This law only covers debt incurred prior to military service. "

I liked your "its the end of the day and I need to get rid of this crap" prices! LOL And I will tell you, I used to hit all the garage sales and hold garage sales all the time in Oregon. I made out pretty good with my sales. Here in NC you can not get diddly for ANYTHING! The nicest, newest clothing w/tags and they still won't pay you over .50! So that was a good reminder from you and LadynRed about something I would have otherwise overlooked!

I will definitely ask you if I end up needing any help pricing things!

I did call around and there was only two attys who would help with this form! The rest just handle bankruptcy, itself. One was too busy this week, but the other could see me tomorrow. He charges $100 to fill out this form. I guess he does it for me and even files it and all. I am tempted, but that really is a lot of money to me at this point in time. Yet maybe it would really be worth it. I don't know. I just want to get this over and move on. I plan to do a bankruptcy in the spring, so if I can just make it to there!

Thanks for all your help!


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On the house and car(s) exemptions, I would just put down "N/A" because they are truly not applicable to you - they're not your assets in the eyes of the law, your DH is. If you're asked about them, you can produce the proof you need that shows your name isn't on those assets.

Do you have bank accounts that are joint ?? If so, you need to be prepared to show that you contribute NO MONEY to those accounts, its all your DH's income. They CAN sieze bank accounts if your name is on them and then you would have to fight them to get the money returned. Paystubs or some records showing direct deposit from the military should do it.

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...that my name is still on the house! I went to see that atty I mentioned. Actually only saw the paralegal. She was very kind and helpful! She looked up on their system and saw that I am still on the house! Chase had just confirmed to me yesterday, again, that I am NOT on there!

But...the paralegal said that they won't touch the house because...something about laws here in NC and it being not my husband's debt, and since he is on the house... She was sure about it...they do lots of bankruptcies and such and she seemed very knowledgable. So I won't worry. I would be allowed a $10,000 exemption and also the mtg is more than what we could sell it for! They won't even go for a lien.

So much for that idea about me not being on the house! I am sure glad I found that out! The vehicles I am NOT worried about as I KNOW I am not on there, since we have the registrations AND the titles in our possession.

The rest of her advice was just the same as yours...put thechildren down as dependents, list household goods all as one, and MAKE SURE they come to under $3500. After going over everything she declared with a congratulatory, big smile, "Well, you are basically 'judgement proof'!" And after all that, she didn't charge me a dime! Even printed out a few things for me about our house.

About the bank accts, we had taken me off the accts at the end of summer, just in case. The neat thing is that I have a general power of attorney (especially necessary with my husband gone) and that allows me to write checks, make w/d and deposits, etc...! Our bank is real good about it all. Our old bank had said they were stricter about it. But these guys just want me to sign my name and add a litle "poa" after it. Most people don't even notice it. And my names are still on the checks, at least till we run out of these. So most people don't even notice anything out of the ordinary. AND I HAVE confirmed with them...I am off the acct. In fact, sometimes I call to do banking business and they will say, "You don't have an acct with us!" Until I remind them of the POA and then they are apologetic and very kind.

So after this is all said and done...I can go back on the accts (after my bankruptcy some day). But really I haven't lost many "privileges" so it is cool. :) And I don't feel bad, because I tried to work out a pymt plan with DMB and they weren't interested! They should have listened to me!

Again, I appreciate all your help. I will post a followup under this thread if anything comes up regarding this whole matter. Until recently it didn't dawn on me that the old messages will get bumped up when I do that, rather than my fear of the old message not being seen, and so I always started new ones. Duh!


Patience (which IS a virtue! ;) )

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