What a sheriff can take to collect on a civil judgment is limited only by the provisions of state laws known as exemptions. I am posting a link to the exemptions that will let you look at the list available in your state for yourself. If you own something not on the list of exemptions, the sheriff probably will take it.
Hope this perspective helps!
Apparently you ignored a previous set of papers called a "Notice Of Right To Claim Exempt Property". By failing to claim your exemptions,you have waived your exemptions and it may be possible for the Sheriff to take some of your personal property or even place a freeze on your bank accounts. I recommend you have a complete consultation with an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your entire financial situation. It may be in your best interest to either file for bankruptcy or work out a payment plan on this debt.
This message is intended for informational purposes only. It is impossible to consider all relevant facts from a message board question. No attorney-client relationship has been created. Readers should seek a personal legal consultation with an attorney of their choice for the most accurate advice.
You need to contact a real attorney who knows what s/he's talking about, because a good attorney would NEVER advise someone to "ignore" a debt collection lawsuit. If you haven't claimed property as exempt in a timely manner, it may be too late to do so now. Again, you should contact an attorney asap and find out what you can do to protect your rights.
Advice on this forum is for informational purposes only and should never be mistaken as a substitute for legal advice. If you are in need of legal advice, you should consult local legal counsel.
A judgment debtor who has waived his or her exemptions should talk with a bankruptcy attorney immediately to find out whether a bankruptcy filing will help save their personal property, real estate, and money in bank accounts. Most bankruptcy attorneys have free initial consultations, and there are several very qualified bankruptcy attorneys in the Mooresville area.
If the judgment debtor is not able to talk with a bankruptcy attorney in time, North Carolina does have a "constitutional exemption" procedure that judgment debtors can use even if they failed to turn in the statutory exemption papers. The paperwork to do this is at this link: http://www.nccourts.org/forms/Documents/257.pdf. The judgment debtor can fill it out and file it at the county courthouse for the county where the judgment is filed and keep a file-stamped copy to show the Sheriff. It does not allow the judgment debtor to keep very much property safe from collection, but it is better than nothing.
Of course, another option is always to try to pay the debt. Some creditors will agree to hold off on sheriff execution in return for some payment on the judgment.
(The attorney responding is licensed only in the state of North Carolina. This response does NOT constitute legal advice and does NOT create an attorney/ client relationship! Rather, the response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter in question. Although a response is provided to the specific question, there may be other facts and law relevant to the issue that the questioner has left out and which would make the reply unsuitable. Therefore, the questioner should not base any decision on the answer, but should confer with an attorney in person about the specifics of his or her case.)