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Garnishment between states

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Here's the story, briefly:

I can't dispute this debt; I owe it.

The problem is I can't pay it (of course); my wages have been steadily edusced over the last few years and very soon I'll be out of a career due to outsourcing. I know, a "sob story", it doesn't change anything. But I'm trying to illustrate my situation.

Now, Citibank (the debt is one credit card, the only card I have and my only debt) has been unable or unwillingly to lower my payments to a point where I can pay.

Credit Counseling agencies have been similarly useless , essentially offering me the same deal as Citibank did.

So, I am dead. It went to collections, and they'll take me to court and get a judgement against me.

I won't go into to the other horrors of my predicament, except to point out that I own nothing. Not only that; my savings already went to pay what I could on the bill.The only option open to them is wage garnishment.

I live in PA, where this can't be done...but, I work in NJ (at least until my career totally dies, at which point I am completely screwed...I'll be working for 8 bucks an hour, if I'm lucky...). So, I fear that they'll get a judgement and garnish my wages because because my employer is in NJ.

Is this true?

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The general answer is that if Citibank can get the judgment domesticated (transferred) to NJ, and your employer is based in -- and paying you out of -- NJ, then they could garnish the wages. However, you need to check the NJ state laws, there may be a minimum income requirement in order to enforce a judgment. Check the state laws for out-of-state or domesticated judgments.

Since this board is anonymous, how much do you owe? I think as a practical matter, Citi wouldn't try to enforce the judgment if you barely had any money and they could only get $30 bucks a week (a percentage of your wages), but that's just my opinion.

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Thanks for the quick reply!

The amount is 9,6xx.xx. I forget the exact amount at the moment.

At the end of the month, I might have a couple hundred left over, but thre are always expenses. One month things look OK, like I can survive, the next I have no idea how I will make ends meet. The months when it seems I can make it have become few and far between..and, I know better now anyway. Such a situation is temporary.

For example, this month I must get my car inspected. This will ceretainly eat up any extra money, and leave me scrambling again despite the fact that at the moment I have a few hundred available. That few hundred is almost an illusion. A dentist bill... a car maintance bill.... a doctor bill....there's always an expense...if not this month, then the next.

So, the situation is that I frequently have money in the bank, but it rapidly is gone to pay my bills ( not debt, but utilities, rent, etc.). A "snapshot" might make it seem that I can pay...but a "snapshot" a few days later would reveal a very different situation. So maybe you are right, and the little they will get from my wages won't be enticing...but I feel that they'll take whatever they can get.

I never, ever lived this way...I can't bear it, to be honest.

It seems to me that for over 9,000 they will go for it, and garnish my wages.

What is involved in "domesticating" a judgement? Whatever it is, I can't imagine it will be so burdensome that they won't go for it.

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Domestication can be effected by simply filing an exemplified copy under the UEFJA, or it can be done by filing a separate action in court to have the foreign (out of state) judgment recognized. The latter is the old-fashioned way, the former is the newer, streamlined way.

It's done, but oddly not all that often. Although there are networks of collections attorneys, the guy who gets the judgment in PA is probably not all that keen on sharing some of the booty with his counterpart across the river (even if not doing so means no booty...go figure). Meanwhile the client is oblivious.

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