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What can they take?

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My wife is due to appear in court concerning credit card debt. She owes the credit card co. about $8,000. plus costs. She doesn't deny the debt.

The problem is that we are seniors on a very low fixed income and can't even really get by. I had been paying this debt out of my savings for a long time but I ran out of money. The payments had never been late up until the last payment I made. There were never any big purchases or any luxury items purchased on this account. In other words, no bills were ran up on purpose. My wife is just a shopaholic and kept buying household items and such.

I'm sure they will get a judgement against her and my concern is what they can take from us. We have a small house which has a reverse mortage on it. We also own two cars which are 6 and 9 yrs. old. Everything we have is in both our names but my name is not on the credit card.

What can they take froms us in the probable event of a judgement. This is in the state of TN.

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Every state has different exemptions.. a local lawyer can tell you that better then we can..

If your income is disability or SS however that can not be touched. As far as home and cars again that has alot to do with the state laws.

If you are working your wages can be garnished... and bank accounts can be frozen and siezed IF the income is other then that mentioned above

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Originally posted by bbwilly

I guess my real question is whether they can seize anything that has my name on it.

I've watched Suzy's show off and on for years. Time after time your question has come up. Even in divorce, the spouse is still chased after for the other's bills.

Consulting a lawyer in your home state is always good advise. In your case it seems to be cost prohibitive. The alternative is to go pro se.

You are probably talking about district court because of the $8000. You have plenty of time to do your research. Generally, it takes a year for these cases to come to trial.

I wouldn't worry about what you can lose until you do. Give 'em a fight.

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first of all not alot of info

r u currently late on these cards...

if so when did u last make payment that brought the acct. current?

please read below...this relates to cc. debts...also u need to ready the rules of civil procedure in your state...

if u have anything held in joint..cars, house, ect. and your name is primary.. or first...generally the cc wont attach...they can but generally dont..

i would get all 3 copies of her cr report..hard copies direct from all 3 agencies

see what they show...

next are thes debts still in the hands of original cc or have they been sold..

usually the same rules that apply for bk in your state also apply for what is exempt from creditors...look up your state bk laws and read them

next i would close out the joint accounts savings and checking and just have one in your name alone in which you pay the bills from...all dis. and ss income is exempt..but anything else could be attached depending on your states rules...u need to read, and read alot...

also u might consult attys...free consultation only to see what they advise once youve done the above./....hope this helps...v



Legal: 10%

Judgment: 10% (or contract rate) (varies with type of transaction)


Open Acct.: 3

Written Contract: 6

Domestic Judgment: 10

Foreign Judgment: 10


Treble damages up to $500 + 10% interest & reasonable service charges, atty's fees, & court costs.


See federal law. Add $2.50 per wk. for dependent child under 16.


Bond: $15,000 1-4 employee $20,000 5-9 employee $25,000 10 or more License: Yes Fee: $600 - Original $350 - Renewal $25 - Each Solicitor

Exemption for out-of-state collectors:

Contact state licensing authority. Out-of-state agencies MAY be exempt if they

[1] maintain office in another state;

[2] resides in a state that provides reciprocity; and

[3] comply with provisions of licensing.

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Ok, forget what the bimbo Suze Orman says !!! TN is NOT a community property state, they can NOT take ANYTHING solely in your name. However, marital assets, things you've acquired during the marriage are pretty much considered a 50/50 thing.

TN doesn't have the greatest exemptions, but we probably have enough to protect what you have.

26-2-103. Personal property selectively exempt from seizure. —

Personal property to the aggregate value of four thousand dollars ($4,000) debtor's equity interest shall be exempt from execution, seizure or attachment in the hands or possession of any person who is a bona fide citizen permanently residing in Tennessee, and such person shall be entitled to this exemption without regard to the debtor's vocation or pursuit or to the ownership of the debtor's abode. Such person may select for exemption the items of the owned and possessed personal property, including money and funds on deposit with a bank or other financial institution, up to the aggregate value of four thousand dollars ($4,000) debtor's equity interest.

Note that the law says EQUITY INTEREST - so your wife's interest in marital property would only be 50% of the equity. Most of your household 'stuff' is used and won't bring much in a sheriff's sale. Use garage sale values for your personal property. Unfortunately, that $4,000 also includes vehicles, so it's very important that you get a blackbook price on the cars so you know what the equity is. If both cars are solely in your name, then they can't touch 'em. Whatver you do, do NOT attempt to transfer anything out of her name into yours, it would be considered a fraudulent transfer and the court can reverse it.

If you're on SS, disability, or pensions, NONE of those funds can be taken. However, if the funds are sitting in a bank account, they may sieze first and then you'll have to fight to get the money returned and the bank levy lifted. Taking her name off joint accounts at this point wouldn't be wise, it would be seen, again, as fraudulent and reversable by the courts. Just make sure you have an accounting of EXACTLY what funds are in those accounts. If ALL funds are from exempt sources, they can't keep money even if it's siezed.

In TN we can file a motion with the court to ask to pay a judgment in installments, they call it "slow pay". This prevents the judgment creditor from garnishing or anything else as long as payments are made exactly on time. The COURT also decides what your payment would be based on your financial situation and ability to pay.

Since she's not disputing the debt, make sure you get the forms from the court so she can file for her exemptions ASAP.

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