My brother is being sued by a collections agency for unpaid credit cards. Since he doesn't have the financial capabilities to do a payment plan or repay the balances it sounds like judgments will be awarded to the plaintiffs. All the cards were opened under my brother's name only as none of them were opened with his wife as joint accounts. Can the plaintiffs go after any assets under his wife's name only or does it not matter whose name the asset is under? Thank you.
If this debt was incurred during the marriage, then yes, the debt collection can be against community property. They can file an abstract of judgment which will be a lien on any real property, and they can levy on community property bank accounts.
This is general advice. You are anonymous. If you PM me i won’t know what it’s about.
Actually it doesn't matter when the cards were opened or when the debts were incurred except for the spouse's earnings. If the debt was incurred during marriage the creditor can garnish the non-debtor spouse's wages. For all other community property it doesn't matter when the debt was incurred. Of course your brother's separate property, if any, is also liable.
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1. debt incurred before marriage cannot be removed from non-debtor spouse's separate bank account, so long as debtor spouse does not have access to that account, even if account contains some or all community property (Cal. Fam. C. Sec 911).
2. creditor must get special court order to get into non-debtor spouse's wages (Cal. CCP Sec 706.109).
However, you cannot rely on the debt collector to follow the rules. Plus you will need to educate the judges.
This is general information and does not create an attorney-client relationship; it is given for educational purposes in the spirit of sharing information on a public forum to provide the perspective of my clients who are consumers, borrowers, tenants, and bankruptcy petitioners. If you send me a direct msg, I won't be able to respond with more info unless you are going to hire me for representation.
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