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I am a non-litigation attorney - have a pro bono client who has a judgment against him. The plaintiff is trying to levy.

Savannah, GA |

Is it too late to file constitiutional exemptions? Or does the client have to file the exemptions and file some kind of motion with the court to stop the levy? This is a judgment in magistrate's court. The plaintiff has been pro se thus far. I live out of state and if legal documents have to be filed with the court, I will have to refer the client to someone else. This never happens to my clients - I don't let things get this far, but this client contacted me after judgment was entered. He is unemployed and I am trying to help without getting too involved as he can't pay and will not be able to do so. Item being sough in the levy is a painting which my client asserts is subject to a security interest as collateral for a prior loan.

Attorney Answers 3

  1. Best answer

    I'm not sure where a valuable painting fits in to levy exemptions, especially regarding a debtor who has leveraged the property. So it sounds like the debtor has a judgment, the creditor wants the painting and the debtor doesn't want to give up the painting. Just as with any judgment/garnishment scenario, The debtor needs to either file a traverse and fight it out in court, or make a deal with the creditor and sign a consent judgment, or file for bankruptcy.

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  2. The answer will probably depend on what state the judgment entered in. For example, in Utah the debtor would need to request a hearing within ten days and then convince the court at the hearing that the property is subject to a lien. The debtor should provide some sort of notice to the secured creditor as well--if they show up claiming a superior interest the court will doubtless find that more persuasive.

    Providing this answer does not form an attorney-client relationship. Most legal questions are exceedingly fact-sensitive and therefore this answer is a best-guess based on the information you provide. You should consult an attorney licensed in your state to further discuss your matter.

  3. I agree with Mr. Koyle's approach.

    Notice is needed. I imagine GA law is different than say Illinois where I practice so the trick is to research what that state does.

    Good luck.

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