Judgement Proof, But Not Free From Harassment
Most Americans who are struggling with crippling debt face a straightforward decision: Contend with mounting bills and an escalating collections process, or declare bankruptcy and attempt a fresh start. But some Americans face a different dilemma. The so-called “judgment proof” are more secure in their assets and income, but they still face many of the same hassles as other indebted Americans.
Seniors on social security and other Americans living on fixed incomes are referred to as judgment proof because their earnings are insulated from garnishment. Strictly speaking, they are insulated from the court orders (judgments) that enable creditors to seize assets. Yet they may still be pilloried with harassing telephone calls. In other words, protection from judgment is not the same as protection from harassment, and being an indebted senior is no financial cakewalk.
Given the blend of security and stress, protection and exposure, does it make sense for the judgment proof to file for bankruptcy?
For many, it still does, reports David Kingsbury. The Apple Valley, MN, chapter 13 lawyer and owner of The Law Offices of David Kingsbury, explains that despite the fiscal protections that come along with a fixed (and often very limited) income, the hassles that the judgment proof face can nonetheless be too much to bear.
These hassles go far beyond demand letters and late hour robocalls from collectors. Though the judgment proof have more legal ground to stand on, the banks and credit card companies can still raise the ante – placing liens on property, or even filing suits in civil court. “Just because you’re judgment proof,” explains the Apple Valley, MN, chapter 13 lawyer, “does not mean that you’re immune from being sued.”
Kingsbury, the chapter 13 lawyer from Apple Valley, MN, even tells of banks trying to levy the savings accounts of judgment proof individuals. The levy might not ultimately succeed, but it can still cause grave inconveniences to seniors who are caught unprepared. An unwitting debtor may suddenly find himself bouncing checks or flat broke in the face of an unexpected levy, explains the chapter 13 lawyer, Kingsbury, from Apple Valley, MN.
This hassle can continue indefinitely.
In sum, being judgment proof is not the same as being hassle proof – and creditors are experts at creating havoc for the indebted. So it’s not surprising that the collective uncertainty and hassle of owing money can still be too much to bear. Bankruptcy can be a wise investment in piece of mind and a timely resolution to a sticky and drawn out dilemma.
Apple Valley, MN 55124
*Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. You should not rely on this article as a legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances, and you should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel. Publication of this article and your receipt of this article does not create an attorney-client relationship.