Collection/Bankrupcy? I have a judgment against me for a credit card case (CA)

I was reading some info about what questions can be asked of me by their attorney to find out about my assets. A couple of questions did not sound right: 1. Can I borrow against my retirement accounts? (I thought retirement account were untouchable) 2. Can I borrow against my credit cards? (Can they actually force me to borrow against a good credit card that I have) 3. Do I expect and inheritance anytime in the future? (Can they put a lien on and inheritance? Here is another question: If my wife and I are not working and my son/girlfriend and daughter/husband (neither pay rent) live with my wife and I and they pay some of the bills and my mother pays the rest of the bills or give me money for bills...what can they do to collect from anyone other than me?

Santa Ana, CA -

Attorney Answers (2)

Dorothy G Bunce

Dorothy G Bunce

Bankruptcy Attorney - Las Vegas, NV

What you can do & what you should do are two different things. Typically, someone can borrow against retirement but you cannot be forced to do so to pay a debt as retirement is protected by federal laws. State laws provide for protection for other property and I am posting a link to a description of laws for all 50 states that protect your property from a judgment creditor. Please note that California has two types of exemption formulas and one is only available to protect those that file bankruptcy. You cannot be forced to take out more debt in order to pay old debt and a line of credit isn't an asset. An inheritance would most likely be vulnerable to a creditor's judgment claim. Unless the judgment names another person, you are the only one who is obligated to pay the debt. Hope this perspective helps!

William Asa Grafton

William Asa Grafton

Bankruptcy Attorney - Towson, MD

They can ask those questions, but that doesn't mean they can force anything except against non-exempt (unprotected) assets.

The other attorney who answered has given you a good resource for looking at those exemptions.

As to your family members, only you and your wife can be held responsible for your debts.

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