my IRA's. I am unable to continue to make the payments. Can they garnish my income or put any lien's on our jointly held assests (i.e., Home, Cars, bank accounts). I am not as worried about my credit score but more toward not hurting my wife and our joint assests.
Every state has available claims of exemptions. You need to google claims of exemptions and your home state and see what available protections you have. Also, consult with a local asset-protection attorney.
Disclaimer of California Attorney
Although the above response is believed to be accurate, it should not be relied upon as any type of legal advice because the information provided is incomplete. It is intended to educate the reader and a more definite answer should be based on a consultation with a lawyer. No attorney client relation is formed with me without a written contract.
Joshua P. Friedman
Your social security and IRA accounts are considered to be exempt forms of income, and unless you co-mingle the deposits of this money, creditors cannot ordinarily touch this money.
With respect to other property you own, even if you own it jointly with your spouse, it is vulnerable to being seized or having a lien filed against it by a creditor that obtains a court judgment against you.
You will want to check the exemptions that are available in your state to see what property is protected from a forced sale by your creditors. In most states, even if real estate is exempt by the homestead laws, a lien can be placed on the property, the homestead only protects you from a forced sale.
Want to find out what property is exempt? Most states post their laws on the state website.
Hope this perspective helps!