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Default Judgement Requirements


mom939409
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Hello all,

 

 Default judgement was granted to OC's law firm and sent in required financial disclosure form with only SSI listed as income which from what I have read is exempt, mailed it CMRR and it was signed and sent back to us. Received a letter today from the law firm stating that they received the form and are now asking for a a copy of bank statement and letter from SS stating proof of benefits income and also a offer of settlement. Since I sent in the exemption form as required by the court am I legally obligated to send in the bank info to them? Also, I am a rep payee on this account, if I send this in can I cross off my information? The only funds that go into this account is SSI and that is it. Any advice on this would be most appreciated..thank you very much!

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Here is what I've learned so far.  I filed the necessary form with my bank that exempts my SS, then with further research I discovered that banks are not to be trusted to honor the exemption.  While it's not legal to garnish your SSI and from what I found was that banks will only say 'Oops our bad'  and with diligence and perserverance you will get your money back.  I decided that it wasn't worth my time and effort so I have my SS sent to a DirectExpress debit card.  They can't touch that.  Also it is my firm belief that you don't have to devulge any banking information to the collection agencies without the court demanding that.  Let them locate it, don't make it easier for them.  Also it's none of their blankety-blank-blank business to discover how much you receive from SS.  As for the settlement offer, if that's an option with you first I would sent a counter offer with a lower amount.

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I'm not sure, but I think you can only have up to about three times your SS check in the account. Anything over that, they can claim. Not positive, but have read that on several boards....

That's a new one on me.  I'm not disputing the information.  So that gives me even more reason to have the money directed to the debit card.  They are authorized by SS to accept your SS and you can not load any other funds to them.  So far I haven't found any upper limit allowed on the card.  I wish that was a problem with my funds.  

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Sec. 207. [42 U.S.C. 407] (a) The right of any person to any future payment under this title shall not be transferable or assignable, at law or in equity, and none of the moneys paid or payable or rights existing under this title shall be subject to execution, levy, attachment, garnishment, or other legal process, or to the operation of any bankruptcy or insolvency law.

(B) No other provision of law, enacted before, on, or after the date of the enactment of this section, may be construed to limit, supersede, or otherwise modify the provisions of this section except to the extent that it does so by express reference to this section.

 

Once a a plaintiff is notified that the defendant is on SSI, plaintiff can not in any way shape or form try to latch on to those benefits.

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Still, if they see a "lot" of money in the bank account, they may try to claim that there is non-SSI money leftover in there (and they will want it).  Having a "low amount" in that bank, at least for now, may reduce the hassles.  I like the card idea, though it has risks similar to any deposit card.

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Back to the OP's question - if the request was sent as part of a Court Document, like an Information Subpoena, then yes, you must respond. You can tell because the document will have the full caption (XYZ  ABC, the Court Name, Docket Number, etc). If it is just a CA's letter then you can ignore it.

 

You have shown them you are Judgment Proof ad they want to settle? Offer them $10 and see what they say. It may very well be the only $10 they will ever get.

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Why are you a rep, is the payment for a minor child? Is it SSI or disability? Do you have any other income?

 

It does not matter if there is any extra at the end of the month in the account, it is still ss benefits and exempt.

 

Normally when a plaintiff gets a judgement the file a motion for you to come to court and answer as to wages and assets. If they do not ask for this through the court you do not have to provide any financial documentation. The reason they want your account info is so they can see if there are any funds left over that they can ask the judge if they can levy it, they also want to see if there are any accounts linked to it that may have money they can levy.

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We received the court paperwork stating we had to fill out both a financial disclosure and financial closure of assets form and send it to the law firm in the judgement..I filled it out within the 15 day time frame that the court gave us and I put for income SSI benefits and the bank name where the account is held, I filled everything out that was required and sent it CMRR. The law firm responded that they received the paperwork but are now asking for a benefit letter/bank account showing the benefit amount  and also a settlement offer. As I look over the court paperwork it is only ordered that a financial disclosure be sent to the law firm which was done. I am just wondering if I have to legally turn this other information to them. Now this account is strictly SSI payments and is in my son's name with myself as the rep payee, but this account is linked to my other account so that I can transfer his room and board $$$ to my account, my son is not on any other accounts..is that going to be a problem and should I just not link them anymore? Thanks so much for your help!

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Guest usctrojanalum

Yeah, when you have SSI going into an account you should not have ANY other monies mixed in.  If you co-mingle the funds a creditor can freeze the entire account and execute on the non exempt funds. While leaving the funds that are SSI alone.  However, this can easily cause you 5-7 days of annoyance.

 

Also make sure you are spending the money and not hoarding it in an account. I saw a State Judge here rule that SSI could be executed on because a judgment debtor had like 60K in an interest bearing savings account.  Judge stated federal benefits are used to help people live, not stored in investment accounts while bills go unpaid.

 

Think that judge got overturned on appeal tho, it was a few years ago I don't remember full details.

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No other money is co-mingled with that account...funds deposited are strictly SSI and any money left in the account after room/board is taken out is spent within the month for my sons needs/wants...the total he gets every month is a tad under $900

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Like i said  If a creditor other than the federal government tries to garnish your Social Security benefits, inform them that such an action violates Section 207 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 407). once paid, benefits continue to be protected under section 207 of Act as long as they are identifiable as Social Security benefits.

 

File a motion for protective order. I would object to bank records, as you have already told them it is SSi and by law you are only required to give them a copy of the ssi letter of eligibility.

 

Philpott v. Essex County Welfare Bd., 409 U.S. 413, 416-17 (1973)). In sum, section 207 of the Act is intended to protect the rights and benefits arising under the Act "from all attempts to use legal process to alienate them, unless Congress has specifically indicated otherwise.

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