I have judgments in excess of $30,000 but I don't want to file BK because I own a home and both of our cars are registered in my name. My paycheck is already being garnished by two lawyers. I am currently undergoing chemotherapy for colon cancer and sometimes I feel like BK is my very last resort. I am tired..
It is virtually impossible for any creditor to track down the identity of any holder of a prepaid debit card, especially if it does not contain your name on the card.
If you are brought in for a debtor's exam and the attorney asks you about the existence of any debit cards that contain funds or asks you about any cash you may have you need to answer truthfully, but you are under no obligation to volunteer any information.
I hope this helps.
Ronald Frederick & Assoc. Co., L.P.A.
1370 Ontario St., Suite 1240
Cleveland, OH 44113
In a debtor's exam the creditors conceivably could find out about the prepaid debit cards and then do a levy. But then you will know in advance that they also know. You mention bankruptcy. If you make too much money you might not be able to wipe out all of your debts. Chapter 7 is a liquidation and chapter 13 is a repayment plan. Check with a bankruptcy attorney before you start making any plans about bankruptcy because you might not be able to accomplish what you want based on your income and assets.
This answer is designed to provide general information only, does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney/client relationship. I am an attorney licensed in Maryland and California. A consultation and retainer will be required if you would like to obtain my representation. Office: (410) 381-1656. David Mahood, Esq.
Personal Injury Lawyer
Meet with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer. You can file for bankruptcy under either Chapter 7 (liquidation) or Chapter 13 (three to five year payment plan). If the equity in your home and vehicles is too great to allow you to liquidate your debts completely and still keep those assets by application of your Maryland exemptions, , then a Chapter 13 plan may allow you to pay a reduced dollar amount on your total debt over 5 years, without any more interest or late fees accruing. If the FMV of the vehicles and your home, AFTER deduction of any debt owed on them and estimated costs of sale, and AFTER deduction of your personal exemptions allowed under Maryland law, is lower than the $30,000 you owe, then Chapter 13 will wipe out the difference and you only pay the balance over the payment plan. For instance, let's say you could net $15,000 on the sale of your home, and the vehicles were worth a combined $5,000.00 after any auto loans are deducted. That is $20,000 in net assets you have, but your MD exemptions are worth about $10,000 or more, plus you have unlimited exemptions for retirement funds, $1,000 for home furnishings, etc., etc. Your net bankruptcy estate may only be worth $10,000 in this scenario. It is THAT amount that you pay to your creditors in a Chapter 13 plan, spread out over 60 months at no interest (about $167/month). the rest of the debt is discharged and all the garnishments are cancelled. This example, obviously does not take into consideration any of your actual circumstances and a number of other details, which would have to be explored by a bankruptcy lawyer, but you hopefully get the idea. Meet with a lawyer and explore your options. In addition, be aware that your Maryland exemptions are available to you RIGHT NOW, meaning if an attachment proceeding is issued against your bank account (or any other property) you can "exempt" up to $6,000 cash from execution or attachment, by filing a notice to claim your statutory exemption. Wages are already exempt from attachment on any amounts exceeding 25% (with the exception of child support attachments).
Have you at least consulted with a BK attorney? I don't think you should look to it as a "last" resort. It seems like it would cure everything much more easily than what you are going through now. Very often, people are surprised at how easily a bankruptcy can be done and solve their problems.