What assests are protected after a notice that I am being sued for credit card debt? 23 Answers as of July 17, 2013

I was just severed with a notice that I am being sued for credit card debt. What assets are protected? 401K? Wages? Can my wages be garnished? What is worse case scenario?

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Heupel Law
Heupel Law | Kevin Heupel
A variety of assets are protected up to certain dollar amounts. For example, you can protect your car up to $5,000, your home up to $60,000 of equity, and your 401k is 100% protected. As for your wages though, the creditor can garnish up to 25% of your net wage for up to six months. The creditor can also garnish your bank account. While it's tempting to hide from the creditor, it's a short-lived strategy and one that rarely works. Take control of your situation by either establishing a payment plan with the creditor or look to file bankruptcy.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 2/13/2012
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
In WA, your wages can be garnished as well as your bank account. A Judgment becomes on your property as well
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 2/1/2012
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
Yes, your wages can be garnished. The 401k is safe. Go see a lawyer about filing for bankruptcy protection. Note that I used the word "protection." That is what bankruptcy is "protection." Don't be afraid of it.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/31/2012
J.M. Cook, P.A. | J.M. Cook
The NC Constitution guarantees that certain assets are exempt from collection. Google exemptions in NC.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 1/31/2012
Twin City Attorneys, P.A. | Amy B. Norberg
The assets that are protected include your 401k, pension, and some other retirement holdings. In a bankruptcy, these retirement earnings cannot be seized. If your creditor obtains a judgment, then they can garnish wages or bank funds.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 1/31/2012
    Philip R. Boardman, Attorney at Law
    Philip R. Boardman, Attorney at Law | Phil Boardman
    After the judgment is obtained, the creditor can garnish your wages and bank account. They can even levy against personal property. You probably should schedule a free consultation to discuss how bankruptcy might benefit you.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 1/30/2012
    Bankruptcy Law Center
    Bankruptcy Law Center | Bill Zurinskas
    Exemptions in Colorado, normally protect 100% of 401k funds. Once a creditor obtains judgment, they can garnish up to 25% of your wages. Creditors may also try to garnish bank accounts and place judgment liens on any real estate you may own. The best advise: Don't let a creditor get a judgment. Get a free consultation with local experienced bankruptcy counsel to learn you rights before judgment enters.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 1/30/2012
    Braunstein Law, PC
    Braunstein Law, PC | Jacob Braunstein
    Wages can be garnished if the plaintiff gets a judgment against you. Bank accounts may also be garnished.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 1/30/2012
    Law Office of Michael Johnson
    Law Office of Michael Johnson | Michael Johnson
    It depends on many facts.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/20/2013
    Benson Law Firm
    Benson Law Firm | David Benson
    There is a lengthy list of things that are exempt either partially or fully from the reach of your creditors. However, your wages are generally garnishable up to 25 percent. Depending on the amount of your unsecured debt, you may want to consider bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 1/27/2012
    A & L, Licker Law Firm, LLC | Tobias Licker
    401K should be protected, they can garnish after a judgment up to 25% of your wages or freeze your bank account. My suggestion is to talk to a bankruptcy attorney to see what options you have.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 1/27/2012
    Compass Legal Group | Kelly Stairs
    It depends on a variety of factors and details. Your attorney will be able to tell you exactly what assets are at risk, and whether it's possible to protect them. Your attorney will also be able to provide recommendations to avoid collection activity altogether, so these issues are not a concern.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/27/2012
    Park Law Offices LLC | Kevin Parks
    The worst case scenario is that you'll lose the case on a default by not retaining a lawyer or answering the complaint, then you'll be liable for the debt itself and the attendant costs. Then, your wages and bank accounts can be garnished (not entirely, but up to a certain percentage) for however long it takes to pay off. Additionally, other assets can be attached with liens or the like, if available. And your credit rating takes a hit. Best case scenario is typically that you hire a lawyer and they negotiate a payment plan or a payoff where you save some part of the debt and the legal case goes away. Either way, you shouldn't ignore the complaint and summons, and should try to consult with an attorney in your area as soon as possible.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 1/27/2012
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    401k is protected, social security income,, but any other assets or bank accounts are open to be frozen or liens put against them. And they will garnish your salary after they get a judgment.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 1/27/2012
    The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu
    The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu | Mengjun Qiu
    Only your homestead property (primary residence that you own), any income from social security, veteran's benefit, etc. are protected. Everything else is fair game, including your car, your funds within bank accounts, wages, etc. Once they obtain a judgment against you, they can start the garnishment process or put a lien on your personal property. If you transfer them to anyone else right now, it will be considered bad faith and the creditors can still reach it. Bankruptcy can stop the credit card suit, protect your assets from being seized, and protect you from wage garnishment. It can also wipe out all your unsecured debt. You should consider bankruptcy if you cannot pay the debt and you fear that your assets and wages are in danger.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 1/27/2012
    Law Office of John C. Farrell, Jr.
    Law Office of John C. Farrell, Jr. | John C. Farrell, Jr.
    No assets are protected per se but something like social security benefits are exempt from being taken by creditors under the law. If you want an accurate assesment of your particular case I suggest you consult with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 1/27/2012
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    401k is safe but your wages can be garnished, bank account levied and a lien put on your real estate after a judgment is issued. Those are the main risks.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/27/2012
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    A 401(k) is protected but a creditor could go after wages, bank accounts, and other wages. If you file for bankruptcy, you will get other protections and if you qualify you could protect all of your wages and savings. But you need to make sure you qualify for a bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/27/2012
    Moore Taylor Law Firm, P.A.
    Moore Taylor Law Firm, P.A. | Jane Downey
    Google "15-41-30" for a pretty complete list.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 7/17/2013
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