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I am a single disabled mom and I live in PA. I am being sued by a debt collector, can they take my furniture?

Chambersburg, PA |

I have a credit card debt (Walmart) and they sold it to a debt collection agency (Portfolio Recovery Ass.). I am being sued by Portfolio. I am on Social Security Disability. I have a mortgage and am raising a child myself. Can the creditors come in a take what I own such as my furniture?

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Attorney answers 3


If they win, they potentially could do a sheriff sale of personal property. It used to be that I would never see that occur, but in the last few months the execution sales are definitely on the increase. Would they actually take your furniture? I doubt it, but I cannot guarantee that.

The key here is to defend the case and win, then nothing else matters. I realize that it may be financially difficult to hire an attorney to defend this, but if you do, you have a very good chance at winning. Consumer attorneys try to handle these cases as economically as possible.



But NOT all of this furniture is mine! When I got divorced I left everything behind and started over so I had to borrow furniture from family and friends.

Gregory Thomas Artim

Gregory Thomas Artim


So if you lose and they try to execute on the furniture, your family and friends can file for a sheriff determination hearing and fight for their property. It all still goes back to what I said and what Mr. Rubin said. Defend the case with a consumer attorney and win. Then nothing bad will happen. Win the case and there is no problem with the furniture


Probably the best answer to the question is to something you did not ask: How can avoid a judgment altogether. The answer, and Mr. Artim and I do this all of the time, is to beat them in court. Believe or not, this is not particularly hard to do. As debt defense attorneys, we do this all of time. Not only us, but there are many attorneys that do the same thing, even in Chambersburg. The key is knowing the law in the area (and there is a lot of law in the area) and forcing PRA to comply with it. Organizations like PRA rarely come to court prepared, and this is not because they are lazy. The business model is flawed in in its nature. The debts are purchased "as is" and little or no documentation is provided. The original creditors will often tell the debt buyers that they cannot stand behind the debt and support them; they buy trash, they take trash. What this results in is trash in evidence. The courts will not accept this kind of practice if it is challenged. If it is not, the simple truth is that you will lose by default.

Do not allow PRA to get a default. Fight the case. Hire a good consumer lawyer and you won't be asking if they can take your furniture.

PLEASE NOTE: Although legal information may be conveyed in my answer, the information must be considered as preliminary, general, incomplete, and not based upon a complete set of facts, unless the information requests the reader to obtain counsel. Avvo is a forum to obtain a preliminary working idea as to how to think about a problem; it is not "the answer (or solution)" to your problem. Information rendered on this forum doe not create an attorney-client relationship and, because it is published on the internet, is not confidential. If real confidential legal advice is desired, you must contact counsel directly and sign a retainer agreement. Legal advice is ONLY given in the course of a formal attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions & Answers is never confidential, therefore, do not disclose any particulars of your case which may prejudice you in the future. I am only licensed in the States of Pennsylvania and NJ and cannot discuss matters in other states.


State laws called exemptions protect your property from being attached by a creditor with a court judgment & I am posting a link below to a general description of these laws for all 50 states. If you used the store card to purchase the furniture, the creditor probably does have the right to repo it since it is what is called in the trade as "purchase money security." But when was the last time you saw Walmart selling used furniture? Almost never worth the effort for the creditor. Hope this perspective helps!

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