Even though creditors may get judgments (court orders saying debtor owes the money), creditors may not be able to collect. If the debtors don't own a home, are unemployed, don't have money in the bank, and other possessions aren't worth much, they may be "judgmentproof" (the creditor can't force payment). The debtor can't be put in jail for not being able to pay their debts. Even after getting a court judgment, the creditor can only collect by going after their wages and bank accounts (garnishment) or by taking the debtors property (execution). In either case, creditors can't take everything. There are laws setting limits on the amount of the property and wages that creditors can take. Generally, a creditor who has gotten a court judgment against debtors can take some of their property if they own a home with more than $6,500.00 equity (current market value minus amount owed) or have belongings worth more than $1,500.00. If they rent, up to $2,500.00 worth of certain belongings (such as a car) may also be exempt. A judgment creditor can't garnish wages if the debtor makes less than 30 times the minimum hourly wage per week.
Speak to an Experienced Creditors Rights Attorney Today
This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified creditors rights lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local creditors rights attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.