Can my debtor legally take every penny that I have in my possession leaving me nothing to live on? 23 Answers as of May 02, 2014

I understand garnishing is something that happens. I am currently in debt to 5 credit companies and have gone to court to set up payment plans for 4 of the 5 which I have adhered to all of thus far, however while checking my bank account, I discovered that the over $2000 that I had in my savings and checking accounts is now gone. Does it have to be a percentage so as to not make it so I can eat, pay bills, pay rent, or so that I don’t default on my other payment plans?

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Law Office of Susan G. Taylor
Law Office of Susan G. Taylor | Susan G. Taylor
If you have a judgment creditor with whom you do not have a payment plan (or you defaulted on a payment plan), the judgment creditor can take everything up to the amount of the judgment, with interest.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 5/2/2014
EDWARD P RUSSELL | EDWARD P RUSSELL
It looks like you have no choice but to file a bankruptcy. It would stop all garnishments and discharge all credit card and personal loan debt.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 4/24/2014
GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C.
GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C. | Richard N. Gonzales
Creditors can only garnish 25% of your net take home pay. However, they can attach all the money in a checking or savings account, assuming they have a judgment against you. If the money in the bank account is your wages, the creditor would only be allowed to keep 25%, or $500. Call the Courthouse and get an objection form to object to this attachment. You can probably go online and print out the form (most court's have a "self help" website). The original objection form is filed with the Court, with a copy being mailed to the judgment creditor who attached your account (or the creditor's attorney).
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 4/22/2014
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
In Nevada the garnishment percentage is 25% of gross, with some exceptions for very low income judgment debtors and child support.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 4/22/2014
HARVEY S. MORRISON, ATTONEY AT LAW
HARVEY S. MORRISON, ATTONEY AT LAW | HARVEY S. MORRISON
No. [I think you meant to ask if your creditor can take everything.] You might check with the court handling your trusteeship.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 4/21/2014
    Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
    Garnishment of wages is a percentage but lien on an asset like a bank account is 100%.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 4/21/2014
    Meister & McCracken Law Firm, PLLC | Joanne M. McCracken
    It sounds as if you should be considering a bankruptcycreditors can garnish your wages and levy on your bank accounts. Bankruptcy would protect you from all of that and help you make a fresh start. Consult with a bankruptcy attorney to determine your best options.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 4/18/2014
    The Troglin Firm | William M. Troglin
    Your Judgment Creditor can file a garnishment against your checking and savings accounts at your bank. The money is probably NOT GONE the accounts are simply frozen. When the bank receives a garnishment it freezes any and all accounts up to the amount of the garnishment but they DO NOT send the money to the Court for 30 days. You need to contact the Legal Services Department of your bank and ask WHAT DATE WILL YOU SENT THE FROZEN FUNDS to the Court. You need to contact an attorney familiar with Bankruptcy and Collections to find out what your specific options are. Generally speaking bankruptcy may be the only solution unless the money in the accounts is from Social Security or Disability payments.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 4/18/2014
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
    First of all, if you owe money, then you are the debtor. I think you meant to ask if a creditor can take everything you have. You have exemptions under California law which protect the value you have in certain assets, such as 75% of your net wages. Thus, creditors are limited to that amount from your wages. But that doesn't prevent them from seizing money in your bank accounts, or putting liens against other assets you may own, such as real estate. Have you even looked into bankruptcy as an option to deal with these debts? Sounds to me like you're swimming upstream here. Bankruptcy can potentially enable you to wipe out all the debts without having to make any payments or, at worst, making less payments than you're having to pay now, and you won't lose any assets. Of course what you can do depends on all the relevant facts in your situation, so you should really have a consultation with a qualified bankruptcy attorney to see what your options are.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/18/2014
    Law Offices of Eric W. I. Anglin
    Law Offices of Eric W. I. Anglin | Eric W. I. Anglin
    If you have five judgments and other creditors you really need to consider bankruptcy to stop these garnishments and seizures of bank accounts.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 4/18/2014
    Eranthe Law Firm
    Eranthe Law Firm | Cate Eranthe
    If there has been a Judgment taken against you by someone you owe money to (a creditor) they can levy or take the money from your bank account. When you receive the notice you can object and see what happens. The levy is a seizure of your funds on a specific day. It takes the entire contents of the bank account. A garnishment of wages is another collection method and it is limited to a percentage. You may want to move your bank account. A would also suggest you see a knowledgeable local bankruptcy and or debt defense attorney for some help.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/18/2014
    Law Office of Marlin Branstetter
    Law Office of Marlin Branstetter | Marlin Branstetter
    In California a judgment creditor is able to levy your bank account a take all funds that are there to satisfy their judgment. You can file a claim of exemption with the court (You have a limited time to do this) and claim that some or all of the funds are necessary for the support of you or your dependents. Be prepared to document your expenses and justify that they are reasonable.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/18/2014
    SmithMarco, P.C.
    SmithMarco, P.C. | Larry P. Smith
    There is usually an amount that you can exempt from them taking.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 4/18/2014
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    When they hit a bank account they take everything. If you a payment agreement taking your bank account might be a violation of the agreement. See a lawyer and bring the paper work in. You also might want to consider bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/18/2014
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    When asking legal questions of a lawyer, don't use legal terms you don't understand. Your debtor is not taking money from you, it is your creditor that takes money for a debt. You are the debtor. State laws called exemptions can protect a portion of the money in your bank account, but you need to submit the proper paperwork to the court to use the protection provided by the law. If the total amount of debt you have is large, you may want to consider bankruptcy as an option. Another choice would be to contact your creditors and ask if you can make payment arrangements. But if you fail to stand by the arrangements you make and miss even one payment, a creditor with a court judgment can garnish your pay, taking up to 25% of your check, and can also return to take your bank account.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 4/18/2014
    Kirby G. Moss PC | Kirby G. Moss
    One of creditors seized your account and it is up to you to claim the exemption, which is $350 for bank accounts. Other than that, they have no obligation to allow for other expenses etc.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 4/18/2014
    C Page Hamrick Attorney at Law | C Page Hamrick
    FOR WEST VIRGINIA ONLY: You should speak with a bankruptcy lawyer about filing a bankruptcy petition and requesting return of those monies. Any bank account in your name is vulnerable to garnishment in West Virginia. There are Federal limits on garnishment of wages but not bank accounts.
    Answer Applies to: West Virginia
    Replied: 4/18/2014
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Sadly the limit is on what they can garnish from your wages only. A judgment creditor is allowed to seize and assets they can find up to your debt. if there are questions, you need counsel.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/18/2014
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    No, they can take whatever is there. You can file bankruptcy and get rid of all of the debt at once instead of struggling through this.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 4/18/2014
    Mauritz Van Niekerk, Attorneys at Law
    Mauritz Van Niekerk, Attorneys at Law | Christiaan van Niekerk
    Why are you not filing for bankruptcy?
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 4/18/2014
    Scott Goldstein | Scott Goldstein
    You may be entitled to an exemption, but otherwise, yes, a levy can take the entire balance.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 4/18/2014
    Law Office of Shirly L. Horn | Shirley L. Horn
    If you file a bankruptcy, any monies garnished within 90 days can be recovered. You might want to look into that option asap. Only when wages are garnished is there a percentage. Otherwise, your bank accounts are fair game if not funded solely by social security.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/18/2014
    Law Office of J. Thomas Black, P.C.
    Law Office of J. Thomas Black, P.C. | J. Thomas Black
    Yes, there is no exemption whatever for cash or money in the bank, in Texas. Texas exemption laws were mostly written during prairie times when people didn't need cash. You may need to consult with a bankruptcy attorney to file a chapter 7 or chapter 13 case, to stop the garnishments. In bankruptcy it may be possible to claim the money in the bank as exempt under the "federal" exemptions, and get the garnishment released.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 4/18/2014
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