Q: What is a creditor's next move after they get a judgement against me? I live in NC.
My house is protected by TBE. My wages are protected from garnishment. I bank in a Deleware only Bank. I have 2 jointly owned cars. One with a loan equal to the value. The other has equity but is equal to the amount protected by state law. I have hardly any possessions. Nothing worth anything.
A: The next step is the creditor serving you with a "Notice of Right" to have your exemptions designated. Youw ill have 20 days after the date of service to file your "Motion To Claim Exempt Property" to claim your exemptions. There are no extensions of time allowed for this and if you do not file your Motion on time, you waive your exemptions. I suggest you take a good hard look at the value of the paid off car and make sure it does not exceed $8,500.00 (car exemption plus wild card exemption). Used car prices are outrageous these days and cars are among the easiest things the Sheriff can take and put up for sale - and yes, they will do that even if the car is jointly owned, at the creditor's direction, if there is a good likelihood of generating a net payment to the creditor. I've seen it happen more than once. Unless you want to have to keep worrying about this for up to 20 years, I suggest you have a consultation with a consumer bankruptcy attorney. If you spouse dies, the judgment is automatically a lien on your home and the paid off car is at risk. Also keep in mind that if you have to use the entire $5,000.00 wild card to protect a paid off car, any amount in a savings account that is not an IRA or 401k is at risk. You basically have to live your life paycheck to paycheck for 20 years to be completley safe and never accumulate any significant assets and remain married the entire time. Bankruptcy may not be a good option and if it is not, the attorney can tell you what to expect as far as a payment plan with your creditor. Good luck.
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