Can a debtor garnish a bank account for four times what is owed? 2 Answers as of May 19, 2011

My account was garnished for over $50000 on a $12000 debt. My husband is not on the debt but on the account. what about his money? I also only found out they did this by going online to check my balance, it this legal?

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Robert Peters, P.A.
Robert Peters, P.A. | Robert L. Peters
What probably happened was that when the account was frozen you had more than the amount of the judgment in your account. The result should be that the creditor get their 1200 and you get to keep the balance. You do have some protections from garnishment if you are head of the household as well as others that are all suppose to be listed on a letter provided to you by the creditor. You may be able to protect the entire amount. You need to speak with an attorney.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 5/19/2011
Rhonda R. Werner Schultz, PL
Rhonda R. Werner Schultz, PL | Rhonda R. Werner Schultz
The amount garnished depends upon the amount of the judgment taken against you. If you did not participate in the law suit, you would not be notified of the garnishment because a default was taken against you. You should have received (or will receive shortly) a notice of garnishment that gave you an opportunity to object to the garnishment. On that notice, you need to object to the garnishment and state that the debt was withheld from an account that is owned by tenants by the entireties, which may be exempt from creditors when the debt they are pursuing is in only one of the couple's names, like in your case. Once you object to the garnishment a hearing will be scheduled and the judge will decide whether the money needs to be returned to your account - and whether the creditor has to pay your attorney's fees and costs (like bank charges). You only have a short period of time to object to the garnishment and if you do not do so timely you will not have options to correct this. You should definitely consult with an attorney about your situation and make sure you know your options.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 5/19/2011
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