Q: A creditor has a summary judgement against me. I had a lawyer look over exemption paperwork. What's next?
I live in NC. House is fully protected by TBE. All assets are 100% fully protected. No wage garnishment in NC and I cash my paper check at a check cashing business. I deal in cash only. I have no bank account. I tried to negotiate with them before they sued and because they didn't work with me then; I'm in no rush to negotiate with them now.What is their next play? To just sit and wait? Thanks in advance.
A: Most likely, yes. Looks like you are judgment proof so they can’t get anything. Just be sure you keep it that way and you should be fine.
A: If the judgment is accruing post judgment interest, you may wish to consider filing bankruptcy or settling rather than waiting it out. Judgments are good for 10 years and are easily renewed for another 10 years. Your only dangers in waiting them out is that your assets may appreciate and become not exempt, or your spouse could get killed in a car wreck - and then you have a lien on your house. It all depends upon your tolerance for risk. If it were me, I would be concerned about an unexpected spouse death causing the unsecured judgment to become secured - and I would recommend you file bankruptcy now if your household income is below median. (There are other factors in making the decision to file bankruptcy including what other debts you have, but that's beyond the scope of a question and answer forum). You are talking about a relatively simple Chapter 7 at this point rather than either a more complicated one where your attorney has to avoid a judgment lien in whole or in part, or worse yet, a Chapter 13 where you have to pay that judgment in full. IN addition, if you end up having to file bankruptcy later, the costs will increase over the years. I've seen way too many people think a judgment will never cause them a problem, and then whoops - turns out something changed and now they have a lien on their house, or their paid off car is worth more than our car exemption or even worse, there's an unexpected property transfer (like mom and dad putting a % of their house in your name "for estate planning purposes" without your knowledge and wham - the judgment becomes a lien on mom and dad's house).
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