Can a collection agency garnish husband wages even if the credit card belongs to me(wife)?

Asked over 1 year ago - Chicago, IL

I have a mental illness Fibromyalgia/depression,anxiety,panic attacks,pain ..etc (doctor letter disable) which I cannot work and the collection agency threaten to garnish my husband wages even after he does not have any part in the credit card.I also stated that I do want to pay and I can pay only a certain amount but he told me clearly that he will go after my husband and that he only cares for his client(sears/citibank) debt and well he told me at first that they can put a lien on my property and I agree to that but then he change his mind and said that no they want to collect the wages from my husband. so long story short is this collection agent extortion or is he wrong in doing some of this things (also before the illness I was on track with my credit card payments, now I cannot work.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Tara Leigh Goodwin

    Contributor Level 16

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    Answered . I recommend contacting an attorney who specializes in consumer law to discuss exactly what the collection agent said to you. Based on the facts you have included here, it sounds like they may have violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, by making a false threat (to garnish your husband's wages). If the account was only in your name, they cannot garnish his wages, and they also can't garnish anybody's wages until they have a court judgment. They also can't put a lien on your property until they have a court judgment. Under the FDCPA you can sue for actual damages, including emotional distress, up to $1,000 in statutory damages, and attorney's fees. Most consumer law attorneys will provide a free consultation and take good FDCPA cases on a contingency basis. I have filed FDCPA cases based on false threats, including threats to garnish wages where there was no court judgment, and they can be very good cases, depending on exactly what was said and all of the other facts. Finally, under the FDCPA you have the right to tell them to stop calling you. They have no right to abuse you like they are doing, and you should consider sending them a letter asking them to cease contact.

    The above response is not intended to create, nor does it create either an attorney-client relationship or an... more
  2. Marc Gregory Wagman

    Contributor Level 17

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    Answered . Maybe. If the husband is also liable on the credit card then yes. They also can use the Family medical necessary act to possibly sue a spouse even though they are not liable. If purchases were made for the family or necessary expenses the other spouse who didn't sign could become liable.

    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The... more
  3. Dorothy G Bunce

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . It doesn't matter who the credit card debt belongs to, the only thing that matters is whose name is on the account. Creditors have to have an agreement in writing to be able to sue someone to collect on an account. Hope this perspective helps!

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