Q: They already have a judgement. I own nothing. I do have a bank account in me and my husband name. Car is in both names. I do not own it make payments. I have no savings account and our income tax return is in both names. Can they garnish my wages in PA or take my tax return refund? (Pittsburgh, PA)
A: As long as everything you own in in both names, you are shielded by the husband and wife entireties doctrine.
Q: What exactly can they do? Wise to attend the magisterial hearing sans defense? It is an unsecured debt. I have no viable defense I’m aware of. The magistrate may have mercy as she knows me. The attorney for Discover is from NY. (Pittsburgh, PA)
A: Once an award is obtained from the District Justice, it can easily be turned in to a judgment. Once it is a judgment it acts as a lien on all real estate you own. It is possible that the company will go further and execute on personal property (cars, namely) or real estate (your home). Often there are defenses to these credit card law suits. I would review the paperwork with an attorney. The attorney from New York will likely have local counsel represent the company.
Q: Five years ago, I had to abandon my home to Bank of America and moved in with friends in another state because of impending foreclosure. Since we had no money we stopped paying credit cards. Most of the debts have since been forgiven but one. Discover was large, about 12K. About two years ago they sent a subpoena and I was scared and dealing with panic attacks. I gave in and signed forms and agreed to the law firm to pay 100$ a month. They set up a payment plan with automatic withdrawal for I think 6 months. When I called to reset the payments, they badgered me for more. They told me the amount was going up from interest and my payments weren’t even covering it. They reluctantly agreed to set up further payments for only 3 months so they could harass me some more when I called back. I told them that my sole income now was about $1,500.00 per YEAR, after my husband of 17 years had left. It didn’t matter to them. They would only set for another 3 months. I couldn’t handle it, and stopped paying after. I own nothing of value but an 18-year-old Pontiac. I am married for a year and husband owns this house. The bank account is mine and his check goes in so I can pay house bills. (Jeanette, PA)
A: I would consult with a consumer rights attorney to deal with these vultures. My thought would be the old proverb, you cannot get blood from a stone. If all your husband’s assets are in his name, he should be protected. From what you describe it sounds like they already have obtained a judgment against you? Therefore, they can only execute on your property-property in your name only. This does not include your husband’s property. If you have no property to execute on, it is not worth their time. I am not telling you to commit fraud, but someone in your situation may not want to have a bank account. I would need to know more information but I would be inclined to not pay them if you do not have the money. They have only sent a Notice of Deposition. This is not a court order and it is not a subpoena. You could choose not to attend. If you receive any more paperwork from them, take it to an attorney.