I owe a medical bill. I recieved a subpoena for a court appearence three weeks after the court date. My checking account has been frozen and my payroll is being garnished. I called and told the law firm that they already took the money from my checking and asked them why are they garnishing my pay. The represenitive couldn't answer my questions. I asked to speak to a supervisor and he transferred me to voicemail. I left a message and no one has returned my call. I have 4 children at home and I can not buy food because everything is locked up.
When a judgement is entered against you, the collection process often starts with both the checking account being attached as well as the wage garnishment. A portion of your checking account may be exempt under state laws if the money in the account is from an earlier paycheck.
So what to do? The court that entered the judgment will have to decide whether the money taken from your bank account is partially exempt and entitled to protection under state law. You will need to apply for a claim of exemption and in many instances, the court will have the forms for you to use to submit this claim.
Since nothing happens quickly in the law, expect to wait & wait for a decision!
The creditor is not responsible for giving you legal advice, so don't call the law firm representing them for help, because you won't find it there.
Most states post the exemptions available to you on the state website.
Hope this perspective helps!
Debt Collection Attorney
When a judgment is entered, the judgment creditor can take multiple actions to pursue payment, not limited to just one. The creditor can do an examination to learn more, levy your bank account and also garnish wages. When the creditor instructs the sheriff to take such actions, the creditor does not know which, if any, will be successful and for how much. Regardless, if you cannot afford food or the like, you need to QUICKLY file a claim of exemption, explain the situation to the court and get at least some of your money back to live off of.
Joshua P. Friedman received his juris doctorate from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles and his bachelor of arts from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a licensed attorney specializing in collections and judgment enforcement. He has been named a Super Lawyers Rising Star for the past 3 years by Los Angeles Magazine. Josh lectures regularly on issues relating to collections and judgment enforcement, including local bar associations and for National Business Institute (NBI) for continuing legal education credit. Josh currently also serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the California Creditors Bar Association and Vice President of the California Association of Judgment Professionals.
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