If I am being sued by a collection company, can they sell my belongings? 22 Answers as of February 27, 2014

I am being sued by a collection company for $2,100.00. I owe other Creditors also. I have had breast cancer, surgery and radiation, also recent finding of a mass in my pelvis, having biopsy Mar. 10 2014. I am on SS, and SS disability. I am low income, (less than $775.00 a month). I am worried that they can come and sell my 1969 mobile home I own, and live in on a rented lot. That they can sell my only transportation, a 2000 F-150 pickup truck, (in my name but buying from my brother for $2,300.00). Only transportation to doctor appointments. That they can sell all my household belongings. I own nothing of any real value. I am very worried and just so sick about this on top of worrying about my health. What can I do?

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Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
In Nevada most of those assets would be exempt from execution.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 2/27/2014
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
They can get a judgment against you and attach as a lien to your assets, although they do not do that very often with vehicles.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 2/27/2014
Meister & McCracken Law Firm, PLLC | Joanne M. McCracken
Your best option is to contact Arkansas Legal Aid for bankruptcy assistance. This will protect all your assets from creditor seizure and sale. Your disability payments are safe from judgments but the creditor could go after your other assets. You should qualify for legal aid assistance.
Answer Applies to: Arkansas
Replied: 2/27/2014
The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
It's unlikely your creditors would be able to sell any of the assets you mentioned, but it really depends on their current values. You have certain exemptions under California law that will protect the value in your home and other assets. Your social security income is safe as long as you are keeping it in a segregated bank account. However, the creditors can get liens against your property so that when you sell them or try to refinance, they get paid. Bankruptcy is probably not necessary, but could give you "peace of mind" in not having to worry about the creditors.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/27/2014
Stuart P Gelberg
Stuart P Gelberg | Stuart P Gelberg
It is possible but rather unlikely. You are entitled to exempt or keep from creditors a certain level of property. Without more info I can't say for sure that what you have described is all exempt but likely it is.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 2/27/2014
    Garner Law Office
    Garner Law Office | Daniel Garner
    It sounds like you may very well be "judgment-proof" meaning you would have no assets the creditors could take. As low as your income is, you probably qualify for legal aid, so call the legal aid office in your area and ask for help. You can probably get a bankruptcy pro bono, and while you're waiting for that, they should be able to tell you how you can write letters to the creditors asking them not to harass you anymore. You have enough to worry about without harassment from bill collectors, and they might even appreciate knowing that they're wasting their time trying to collect anything from you.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 2/27/2014
    Michael B. McFarland, P.A. | Michael B. McFarland
    Under the circumstances you have described, if you are in Idaho, you appear to be "judgment-proof". That means, even if a collection company gets a judgment, there is nothing it can take. No creditor can take your Social Security, and your mobile home and vehicle are exempt from attachment. You may still want to consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney to verify that what you do have is all exempt.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 2/27/2014
    Law Office of Marlin Branstetter
    Law Office of Marlin Branstetter | Marlin Branstetter
    In California no. Your Social Security payments cannot be attached by a creditor. All the other property you listed cannot be seized by unsecured creditors. Your creditors may threaten but your property is safe.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/27/2014
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    If you live in California...DO NOT WORRY. They are lying to you. Your stuff is protected. They can't take you SS or SS disability. *If they call again, just hang up. OR threaten to sue them for violating the fair debt collection practices act.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/27/2014
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    State laws called exemptions provide what property a creditor that has a court judgment against you can take. In most states, you can keep all your household goods and some money in the value of a car. In Nevada, you can keep up to $12,000 of household furniture & furnishings and up to $15,000 in a vehicle. Keep your social security money in an account that never ever has money from any other source going into it and discuss the concerns you have about this lawsuit with your bank manager. If you don't like the answers you get, go to another bank and ask them how they act to protect their customer's money from judgment creditors before switching your accounts. This is not a problem that will kill you but you need to be smart and act promptly to protect yourself.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 2/27/2014
    Havkin & Shrago | Stella Havkin
    Collection agencies typically only go after money in a bank account and real property. Your car is exempt in any enforcement proceeding in the state court through a claim of exemption process.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/27/2014
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Marjorie Guymon
    They will try to take your assets but in Nevada they are all exempt. You must assert your exemption in the court proceeding to avoid their taking the assets. Or, you could file bk and discharge all this debt. Your assets would be exempt.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 2/27/2014
    Detroit Lawyers, PLLC
    Detroit Lawyers, PLLC | Nick Best
    A collection company cannot sell your assets (including your home, motor vehicle and belongings), unless they have a security interest in those assets. However, they can garnish your wages if they receive a judgment against you. Since you are on social security disability, this is not something you currently have to worry about. Based upon the description of your situation and debts, you appear to be a candidate to file bankruptcy. In bankruptcy you can discharge all of your unsecured debt (credit cards, medical bills, etc.) while retaining your assets as long as they fall within the provided exemptions. Since the value of your assets fall on the low end the spectrum, it is likely you will be able to retain all of your assets.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/26/2014
    Hoang & Tran PLLC | Adam Tran
    If you are sued, they may place liens on your property. To prevent the liens, you may file for bankruptcy stop the harassment and lawsuits.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 2/26/2014
    Edelman, Combs, Latturner & Goodwin, LLC | Daniel A. Edelman
    In Illinois, most of what you have can be exempted. The vehicle is less than the amount for which a vehicle can be exempted. Social Security is exempt.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 2/26/2014
    Law Offices of Linda Rose Fessler | Linda Fessler
    You can file bankruptcy. If the trailer and car are not worth much, they and your belongings will be exempt in a bankruptcy and you will be able to keep them. Best of luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/26/2014
    GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C.
    GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C. | Richard N. Gonzales
    Do not worry about your situation. You are "judgment proof". Even if the creditor gets a judgment against you, they can not touch your SSI or Social Security money. Also, in every state, certain property is "exempt" from creditors (i.e., creditors can not touch that property). Google "Colorado Exemption Laws" (or whatever state you live in), and you should see a list of property exempt from creditors in that state. Again, there is NO NEED to worry, you will be fine. Good luck my friend!
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 2/26/2014
    Thomas Vogele & Associates, APC | Thomas A. Vogele
    I presume you have not spoken to a bankruptcy lawyer yet, but you need too do so immediately. You might also get help through a pro bono program run by the Court. You can file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition and discharge all of your debts and protect your home and vehicle through exemptions. Call the local bar association and ask for a referral to a low-cost bankruptcy lawyer as soon as possible. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/26/2014
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc.
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc. | David VanDyke
    It appears that you are "judgment proof" which means that although they will obtain a civil judgment against you there is no way to enforce it. No they cannot take any personal belongings such as household furnishings nor can they take an automobile which has a value under the applicable and available exemption (which is sounds like you are fine), Also Social Security of any sort is not attachable by your normal creditor.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/26/2014
    Mark S Cherry, Attorney at Law, PC
    Mark S Cherry, Attorney at Law, PC | Mark Cherry
    Try to get a pro-bono bankruptcy attorney to help you. Contact your local Bar Association or Legal Aid office.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 2/26/2014
    Law Offices of Eric W. I. Anglin
    Law Offices of Eric W. I. Anglin | Eric W. I. Anglin
    It is important that you find out if you are judgment proof in the state in which you reside. Social Security is usually exempt from garnishment and you should be entitled to claim an exemption for some if not all of your property. You need to contact a local attorney to advise you as to your ability to protect your property.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 2/26/2014
    SmithMarco, P.C.
    SmithMarco, P.C. | Larry P. Smith
    We can help you... and no, we would not file bankruptcy. I can help you with how to deal with this, what to be worried about, what your rights are, and how to avail yourself of these rights. Don't let a collection lawyer or a debt collector make you lose sleep over this.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 2/26/2014
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