Q: I have a judgment against me for 8,000 in NJ (from 12 years ago) and am currently residing in NY.
I have a judgment against me for approx $7,000 total (from 12 years ago) in a different state (NJ and Florida) and am currently residing in NY. I cannot pay this debt right now in any way, not even a minimum payment. Can the debtor come after my vehicle (worth approximately 4k) if it's registered under BOTH my name and my wife's name?
A: A judgment against you can be enforced against your interest in any asset, whether it is jointly owned with another or not. HOWEVER, the more important question is whether (a) the judgment is still valid, which is a question of New York law; (b) whether you have any equity in the car (difference between value and what you owe) and whether that amount is exempt under New York law; and (b) whether New York is a community property state. Since I am not a New York lawyer, I probably shouldn't have tried to answer your question, but these are the questions you should ask a New York lawyer. There is a statute of limitations on judgments which will expire after a certain amount of time unless renewed in the state where they were entered. Assuming the obligation is still valid, it is probably dischargeable in bankruptcy if you want to explore that option, and the value of your car is likely exempt, meaning that it can't be touched by a creditor. I recommend that you consult a local bankruptcy lawyer to get answer to these and any other questions you may have. Most bankruptcy attorneys offer free consultations. Good luck.
Timothy Denison agrees with this answer
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