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Garnishment question in a case about credit card debt that I lost as an individual:

Garden Grove, CA |

Debtors can not go after any kind of retirement account..correct?
Can a Debtor go after a joint bank account?
Can a Debtor go after a tax return refund? If so what if I ask to have my refund pay my taxes for the next a quarterly tax payment. This would be done so I would not actually receive a tax refund.
If I filed Charter 7 would I have to give up other credit cards I have? Also...under Chapter 7 would the debt go away or would I still have to pay it at some point?

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Attorney answers 3


A creditor cannot levy a qualified retirement account. They can, however, levy any of those funds that are withdrawn from the account as basic income. Further, they can go after any joint depository accounts with your name on it. They cannot directly garnish a tax refund (unless creditor is state agency or public entity like a hospital), but they can levy the bank account the refund goes into. If you file Chap. 7, your CC's will probably close their accounts with you - happens all the time, even if they aren't a "creditor" in that you have no balance with them. If you qualify for a Chap. 7, there are no payments to creditors unless assets are taken.

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If you don't understand the meaning of a word like Debtor, please don't use it & embarrass yourself in front of the attorneys that read your post. The person trying to collect a debt is Y the Creditor and the person who owes the money is the Debtor. If you don't understand legal terms, just use plain English.

A Creditor may "go after" any property that isn't protected by state laws called exemptions. You can find a list of these laws on the state website. When a person files Chapter 7, it is up to the individual lenders to decide whether or not to continue to offer the use of credit or not. Most will not. In Chapter 7, the debt does typically go away because of the bankruptcy discharge, but there are some important exceptions to this rule. To keep something financed with credit, such as a house or a vehicle, you need to commit to paying even after the bankruptcy. I urge you to obtain competent representation if you decide to go forward with a bankruptcy or you will surely have problems. Hope this perspective helps!

Hope this perspective helps!



I guess I messed up----thanks for pointing it out


Retirement accounts are generally exempt. Joint bank accounts are not, creditor can take 100% of account regardless of the amount you actually contributed. Tax refunds can only be garnished by a government entity, no worries there. If you qualified for bankrutcy, this debt should be dischargeable and if discharged you'd never have to repay it. That said, you can't pick and chose which debts to list in your bankruptcy. All must be listed and your remaining creditors will close your accounts.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Good luck!

Rob Taylor, Esq.