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What can a credit card company do to collect a debt?

Knoxville, TN |

I have been served with a "Subpoena Duces Tecum" asking for all my personal financial information. Can they take any of my property to satisfy this debt? ie: vehicle, furniture, etc.

We (my wife and I) live on Social Security and I am disabled.

Attorney Answers 5


  1. Best answer

    I think I may have talked to your wife already; but in any event the below answers are correct. Although the TN personal property exemptions are now 10k. SSI is exempt as well. The only issue is having a lien on your property.


  2. Your state has a statute that allows you to exempt certain property from collection. I suggest you find a bankruptcy attorney near you to determine if you have property that is exposed to collection. Your social security funds are not attachable. These are parts of the TN code relating to your exemptions: “Personal
    property to the aggregate value of four thousand dollars
    ($4,000) debtor's equity interest shall be exempt from
    execution, seizure or attachment in the hands or possession of
    any person who is a bona fide citizen permanently residing in
    Tennessee . . ..” Tenn. Code Ann. § 26-2-103. “In addition to
    the exemption set out in § 26-2-105, there shall be further
    exempt to every resident debtor the following specific articles
    of personalty . . ..” Tenn. Code Ann. § 26-2-104. “In addition to
    the property exempt under § 26-2-103, the following shall be
    exempt from execution, seizure or attachment in the hands or
    possession of any person who is a bona fide citizen
    permanently residing in Tennessee . . ..” Tenn. Code Ann. §
    26-2-111. “The personal property exemptions as provided for
    in this part, and the other exemptions as provided in other
    sections of the Tennessee Code Annotated for the citizens of
    Tennessee, are hereby declared adequate . . ..” Tenn. Code.
    Ann. § 26-2-112. “Should a bona fide citizen permanently
    residing in Tennessee become a judgment debtor, such debtor
    must exercise the exemption as provided in § 26-2-103 by
    filing a list of all the items owned . . ..” Tenn. Code Ann. § 26-2-
    114.


  3. What creditors can't take from you once they obtain a court judgment is covered by state laws called exemptions. Since these laws vary widely from state to state, I am posting a link to a description of the laws for all 50 states for you to review. For more specific information, you may wish to review the laws directly, and most states post their laws on the state website.

    Hope this perspective helps!


  4. It sounds like a judgment has been entered against you. If so, Tennessee allows a number of ways for creditors to collect on judgments. They can levy on your personal bank account and take up to the full amount of the judgment (some exceptions apply to SSDI $$). A creditor can place a lien on your home and/or autos, etc. As attorney Walton stated, I recommend that you contact a bankruptcy attorney to discuss the best options for preserving your home and resolving your debt situation. Tennessee has various exemptions that would likely allow you to keep most of your assets. Remember, bankruptcy is simply a business decision and should be viewed as another tool to preserve assets and remove unnecessary expenditures. It’s important that you act quickly as you have little time to respond to the subpoena.

    Best of Luck.

    The legal information provided is for informational purposes only and should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Your receipt of the information on this website is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, a contract for representation by Fetters Law Firm, PLLC. Ryan F. Fetters is licensed to practice law only in the States of Maine, Tennessee & West Virgina.


  5. Social Security is protected even after you receive it.

    Other property up to certain limits is protected by state law.

    Most likely, they will sell the debt. If a debt buyer now has it, fight them. They have to prove that they bought this account and very rarely can they do it.

    Mr. Goldstein is a Virginia-licensed attorney only. The information is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation. Answering this question does not in any way constitute legal representation. Contacting Mitchell Goldstein or the Goldstein Law Group does not constitute legal representation, nor is any information you provide protected by attorney-client privilege until otherwise advised.

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