Supplementary Process appearance on default judgment in MA

Asked over 1 year ago - Hingham, MA

My mother ignored an earlier summons (May 2012) regarding delinquent credit card debt and a default judgment was entered due to her failure to appear. She has now been summonsed to court for supplementary process. She was hospitalized in July & has been unable to work; she is now totally disabled by her doctor. She has received accrued sick time - which ended at the beginning of January; she is applying for employer sponsored LTD - but the amount she would receive will be offset by Social Security retirement income she has been collecting. The total will not be sufficient to pay her current living expenses, never mind a judgment. Her only other assets are a car (worth 8K and paid in full) and her home). What can I expect when we attend this hearing. Thanks in advance for any help!

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Michael A. Goldstein

    Contributor Level 15

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    Lawyers agree

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    Answered . Supplementary Process is a creditor's opportunity to ask your mother questions about her assets and to try to find something they can attach, seize or a wage they can garnish. Her social security is protected from garnishment, but once it hits her bank account if it is comingled with other funds, there could be an attachment less her exempt assets under state law. Additionally under MA law, wages can be garnished up to 15%. This may be a good time to meet with a consumer debt attorney to find out if either a debt settlement or a bankruptcy may be an option to avoid the proceeding and discharge the debt.

  2. Sebastian Korth

    Contributor Level 8

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    Lawyer agrees

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    Answered . Social security and disability payments are exempt from collection or garnishment. They cannot take her car if is it worth less than $10,000. Does she have a homestead declared on her home? If you don’t know, look up her home on Masslandrecoreds.com. If she has a homestead declared on her home then she is protected for up to $500,000 of equity on her home. If not, she only has $125,000 of equity in her home protected from attachment. You might want to consider filing a declaration of homestead if she doesn't have one already.

    At the supplementary process hearing, fill out the form they give you asking about all of her income and assets. If all her income and all her property are exempt from collection, that is, worth less than the amounts described in the previous paragraph, then you can request that the clerk dismiss the supplementary process action. The law requires supplementary process proceedings be dismissed when the defendant has no non-exempt assets and is over 60 year old or is disabled.

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