JulieK

On SSDI, yet judge ruled against me in Crown Asset Management collection case

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Hello,  

I have been dealing with collections for a few years now.  I am disabled,  on SSDI for over 2 years.  I have had creditors sue me, but I have responded to them all with letters stating I am on SSDI and own nothing.  A couple dropped their cases but two others got judgements against me.  One stopped at the judgement and has not done anything else.  Crown Asset Management Llc in Ohio has now filed for garnishment.  I received a form stating this and that I could request a hearing of I don’t agree.  Well,  I requested a hearing on the grounds that my only income is from SSDI.  The date is set for April 2 at 8am.  The amount of the debt with court costs etc is just under $2500. My husband owned our home before we were married and I never was added.  He owns our cars and I even have a separate bank account that my ssdi goes into.  I just don’t understand how this judge has gone against me when I only receive ssdi.  They can not garnish that so why give them the ruling?  Also,  what can I expect at this hearing?  Am I just going in front of the judge to  tell him I don’t agree with garnishment because all I receive is ssdi?!?  I thought I was judgement proof,  but this judge has ruled against me.  Any insight would be greatly appreciated.  

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Their though is that with vigorous rehabilitation you will find yourself back in the workforce, when they can then garnish your wages.

 

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25 minutes ago, JulieK said:

 I thought I was judgement proof,

While judgment proof is the popular phrase the correct term would be collection proof.  Your SSDI cannot be garnished it doesn't matter how many forms they file with the courts.  It also cannot be levied from your bank account provided you do not keep more than 2 months worth of benefits in the account.

27 minutes ago, JulieK said:

I just don’t understand how this judge has gone against me when I only receive ssdi.  They can not garnish that so why give them the ruling?

Winning the lawsuit is not based upon whether or not they can collect.  It is only based on whether the Plaintiff proved that you do owe the money.  The can win a judgment and never collect.  Some never try. Others try all tactics.  There is no set way to handle it.

While you may be collection proof today that could change.  You could win the lottery, inherit the house etc.  Some creditors choose to drop it when the see SSDI others do not care.  

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29 minutes ago, JulieK said:

They can not garnish that so why give them the ruling?

Because you still owe the money.  You might win the lottery or receive an inheritance, neither of which are exempt.  In the mean time, interest will accrue making it worth their while on the off chance the debtor tree bears fruit.

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Thank you!  The term collection proof does seem to make more sense.  So what exactly will this hearing entail?  I have attached the documents.  A hearing has been set for April 2, 8am. Did I not have to request a hearing?  I thought I did to say I did not agree with the garnishment. 
 

 

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4 minutes ago, JulieK said:

So what exactly will this hearing entail?

The hearing is going to be a waste of time.  You would have to prove you don't owe the debt, which doesn't seem like you can do (or you would have the first time).  I would just call the court and withdraw your request for a hearing.

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4 minutes ago, JulieK said:

So what exactly will this hearing entail?

It is possible this is also a debtors exam.  That is where they will try to determine if you have any assets they can get to collect on the judgment.  If you have none then the hearing is over.  The court may require proof of the SSDI then deny their garnishment request when they get that proof.  In my opinion it can't hurt to have the court be aware that your only income is exempt from garnishment and levy.  

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5 minutes ago, Clydesmom said:

It is possible this is also a debtors exam.

It's not a debtor's exam.  She (OP) requested the hearing.

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Just now, Harry Seaward said:
 
 

It's not a debtor's exam.  She (OP) requested the hearing.

I know she requested it but I don't know OH procedure and it could end up being both.  Regardless I would still go and want the court to know I am on SSDI and exempt.

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Just now, Clydesmom said:

it could end up being both.

It seems like they would have to notify her of this so she could properly prepare.

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1 minute ago, Harry Seaward said:
 
 

It seems like they would have to notify her of this so she could properly prepare.

At the Covid 19 rate I am surprised they are even open to take the motion for garnishment let alone the hearing.

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2 minutes ago, Clydesmom said:

At the Covid 19 rate I am surprised they are even open to take the motion for garnishment let alone the hearing.

Right?!  I called to double check and she said the judge is still holding court every morning at 8am. 

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1 minute ago, Clydesmom said:

At the Covid 19 rate I am surprised they are even open to take the motion for garnishment let alone the hearing.

Agreed.  There is still a right to due process, so I would have guessed the court would have suspended the plaintiff's garnishment ability until a "safe" hearing could take place.  Things are still all over the place with regard to closures.  Nothing but dining rooms is mandatory here in AZ (takeout and delivery is still operational).  Everything else is free game.  People still going to Walmart and Home Depot in droves.

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16 minutes ago, Harry Seaward said:

Things are still all over the place with regard to closures.  Nothing but dining rooms is mandatory here in AZ (takeout and delivery is still operational).  Everything else is free game. 

Opposite here in NV.  Courts closed except for absolutely necessary criminal hearings.  ALL non-essential businesses closed.  Cops show up if you are in violation.  Warning/citation/fine or loss of license.  No gatherings public or private of 10 or more people.  Possible misdemeanor if you violate.  Take out and delivery open.  Nothing else.  Alcohol to go though!

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23 minutes ago, Clydesmom said:

Alcohol to go though!

Yeah, the gov knows they can't interfere with the booze supply! 

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1 hour ago, Harry Seaward said:

Yeah, the gov knows they can't interfere with the booze supply! 

Colorado actually tried to do that (close liquor stores) and it was crazy with long lines and no one practicing social distancing at all. They had to back track on that one just to keep people safe.

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1 minute ago, WhoCares1000 said:

They had to back track on that one just to keep people safe.

I'm sure I've heard of this happening at some other time in this country.....:justdrink:

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Now to the OPs issue.

First thing to the OP is to get that form off of this thread until you can black out the private information. You do not want that going around the internet like that.

Now here is what I think happened. Crown Asset filed a case against the OP and the OP answered and tried to fight the case and lost so that Crown Asset got a judgement against the OP which is legal and right. All Crown Asset had to prove is that you owed the money. There is no consideration on ability to pay when in a judgement case. Some companies will back off if the debtor is collection proof and others will continue anyways figuring that they can collect at some point as judgements have a very long shelf life vs ordinary debt.

Crown Asset is now attempting to collect on the judgement, probably by trying to levy the OPs bank account. The OP has requested a hearing to deny the judgement because said account is only filled with SSDI payments which are exempt from garnishment. The OP needs to attend this hearing with proof that the payments and with the correct cites and case law to show the judge that Crown Asset is not allowed to garnish this account. In reading the request for hearing, it is vague (but I am sure the judge will allow it as you are pro se and that you got your point across in showing that you have standing for such a hearing). If the judge rules for the garnishment, then the OP will have to appeal that ruling (and probably try to find an appeals court lawyer) as the appeals court will most likely overturn said ruling.

Now, Crown Asset can try to do a debtors exam at the hearing but if what the OP says is true, there is not much they can get at this time and the judgement is only worth its value on paper as it cannot be collected on as the OP has no assets.

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On 3/27/2020 at 4:53 PM, WhoCares1000 said:

Now to the OPs issue.

First thing to the OP is to get that form off of this thread until you can black out the private information. You do not want that going around the internet like that.

Now here is what I think happened. Crown Asset filed a case against the OP and the OP answered and tried to fight the case and lost so that Crown Asset got a judgement against the OP which is legal and right. All Crown Asset had to prove is that you owed the money. There is no consideration on ability to pay when in a judgement case. Some companies will back off if the debtor is collection proof and others will continue anyways figuring that they can collect at some point as judgements have a very long shelf life vs ordinary debt.

Crown Asset is now attempting to collect on the judgement, probably by trying to levy the OPs bank account. The OP has requested a hearing to deny the judgement because said account is only filled with SSDI payments which are exempt from garnishment. The OP needs to attend this hearing with proof that the payments and with the correct cites and case law to show the judge that Crown Asset is not allowed to garnish this account. In reading the request for hearing, it is vague (but I am sure the judge will allow it as you are pro se and that you got your point across in showing that you have standing for such a hearing). If the judge rules for the garnishment, then the OP will have to appeal that ruling (and probably try to find an appeals court lawyer) as the appeals court will most likely overturn said ruling.

Now, Crown Asset can try to do a debtors exam at the hearing but if what the OP says is true, there is not much they can get at this time and the judgement is only worth its value on paper as it cannot be collected on as the OP has no assets.

Thank you,  It completely slipped my mind that my info was on the paper!  I have never said I did not owe the debt,  and the judge has been notified by me via my answers that I am on SSDI.  I only requested this hearing because I thought they were saying they were going to garnish my account that only has my ssdi.  Does the bank tell them who is depositing into my account?  Is that how they know it’s coming from the dept of social security?  What is going to happen at this hearing?  Should I withdraw my request for it?

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1 hour ago, JulieK said:

I only requested this hearing because I thought they were saying they were going to garnish my account that only has my ssdi.  

Crown is trying.  Legally they can't but it doesn't prevent them from the attempt.

1 hour ago, JulieK said:

Does the bank tell them who is depositing into my account?  Is that how they know it’s coming from the dept of social security?

After the last recession a law was passed requiring that when banks receive a levy they have to determine if the funds in an account are exempt from levy before freezing the account and seizing it. So if the levy had come in they would have looked at the source of your deposits (SSDI) determined if there were any non-exempt amounts (anything over 2 months worth of benefits is fair game) and if no non-exempt funds are there they do not freeze the account.  A notice is returned to the court that the funds are exempt.

1 hour ago, JulieK said:

What is going to happen at this hearing?

The Judge will ask why you object to the garnishment. You show that you are only receiving SSDI not a paycheck which is legally exempt from garnishment.  If the Plaintiff mentions bank levy you inform the judge the bank will not levy the account either under the law and Section 207 of the Social Security Act.  (assuming the Judge doesn't stop them cold on their own).  The Plaintiff MIGHT ask you about other assets.  You state you have none.  They go home with nothing.

1 hour ago, JulieK said:

Should I withdraw my request for it?

If it were me I would go.  I would want the court to know that the Plaintiff is wasting their time and resources knowing full well they cannot legally touch disability payments.  I would also want ot ensure that the court didn't presume the account was eligible for seizure and cause me problems that I would have to fight.

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In your original answer, it did not matter if you mentioned that you were on SSDI. Someone receiving SSDI can still have a judgement entered against them under law. The only thing that matters was whether you owed the debt.

Now that they want to levy a bank account, it does matter because the funds in that account are exempt from levy. So yes, you need to go to that hearing and prove that the funds are exempt from levy under state and federal law and I believe that this judge will tell Crown Asset that and deny the motion for levy. This will also avoid issues if the bank does not do its due diligence in ensuring that the account does not have non-exempt funds. (Note that I would clean out anything above 2 months of SSDI payments from that account and keep that as cash to avoid that rule).

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Does Crown have to send a lawyer to this hearing or will it only be the judge and I?  Can the lawyer request it be cancelled if they accept that I only receive ssdi or because of the current pandemic stuff?  I’m still surprised my city is holding court to be honest.  Everywhere around me has cancelled everything but arraignments. 

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On 3/28/2020 at 7:45 PM, Clydesmom said:

Crown is trying.  Legally they can't but it doesn't prevent them from the attempt.

After the last recession a law was passed requiring that when banks receive a levy they have to determine if the funds in an account are exempt from levy before freezing the account and seizing it. So if the levy had come in they would have looked at the source of your deposits (SSDI) determined if there were any non-exempt amounts (anything over 2 months worth of benefits is fair game) and if no non-exempt funds are there they do not freeze the account.  A notice is returned to the court that the funds are exempt.

The Judge will ask why you object to the garnishment. You show that you are only receiving SSDI not a paycheck which is legally exempt from garnishment.  If the Plaintiff mentions bank levy you inform the judge the bank will not levy the account either under the law and Section 207 of the Social Security Act.  (assuming the Judge doesn't stop them cold on their own).  The Plaintiff MIGHT ask you about other assets.  You state you have none.  They go home with nothing.

If it were me I would go.  I would want the court to know that the Plaintiff is wasting their time and resources knowing full well they cannot legally touch disability payments.  I would also want ot ensure that the court didn't presume the account was eligible for seizure and cause me problems that I would have to fight.

I guess this explains why my bank has not put a hold on my account,  as they see the only deposits come from the Department of Social Security.  

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3 hours ago, JulieK said:

Does Crown have to send a lawyer to this hearing or will it only be the judge and I?  Can the lawyer request it be cancelled if they accept that I only receive ssdi or because of the current pandemic stuff?  I’m still surprised my city is holding court to be honest.  Everywhere around me has cancelled everything but arraignments. 

They can send an attorney to defend their request and they might or might not. They can also request a continuance due to the pandemic and it would more likely be granted, however their request for garnishment is also put on hold until the hearing can be held.

I am kinda surprised that the court in your jurisdiction is still handling cases too. Most courts have gone to doing only the bare minimum to protect the constitutional rights of those charged with a crime and that is it.

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