I don't have assets, I don't have job, I am disabled on fixed income which is about $12,000 a year. Plus there are other debts which would be impossible to pay off. What will happen and any advice? I know I need bankrupcy but I cannot afford to file it right now.
Elder Law Attorney
Your Social Security benefits cannot be garnished to pay any judgment that may be entered against you, but you will want to make sure that those benefits are not commingled with any other funds to preserve the protection from being garnished. If, as you describe, you are judgment proof, then the creditor won't be able to collect on the judgment. You should consider consulting with a local attorney to see if you might have any defenses and/or counterclaims against this lawsuit that you are apparently anticipating being filed. You should also consult an attorney if you need assistance making sure you properly claim your exemptions from any judgment that may be entered. If you cannot afford an attorney, you may qualify for free or reduced cost legal assistance from a local Legal Aid program. I would recommend that you check into that as a starting point. Some Legal Aid programs offer assistance with filing for bankruptcy if that turns out to be the best course of action in your case.
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Social Security Lawyers
If you are on SSDI or SSI those funds can not be garnished. If that is your only income and you have no assets then you are judgment proof. Make sure you notify your bank if a garnishment is attempted that the funds are only SS and never co-mingle any funds from any other source. You may want to contact the credit company and tell them of your conditions. Once they are aware that you know your SS check can not be garnished they may not bother with a suit. If they do file and you are given a court date, make sure you show up and explain to the judge that you have nothing but disability as income and no assets. That way he will not inadvertently attempt to garnish your bank account.
Disclaimer Information on this site is provided by attorney Clint Curtis as general information and not specific legal advice. Specific advice can only be provided after a complete analysis of all information related to the asker. No attorney-client relationship is established by the use of the information provided. If you have additional questions please contact the law office.
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It sounds as if, based on the reasons stated above, you are what they call "judgment proof." This will not stop your creditors from trying to obtain a judgment against you, they just won't be able to collect because your income is exempt. The burden is still on the credit card company to prove that you owe the money, however. You should go to court and force them to do so. If they cannot prove their case at trial, they will not get a judgment.
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