Sometimes if you have an outstanding debt with a creditor, they will file suit against you for the delinquency. Once a judgment is filed against you, the creditor becomes a “judgment creditor,” and they can now use a variety of legal techniques to use against you to collect their money. Philadelphia bankruptcy lawyer William D. Schroeder, Jr. understands the ins and outs of creditor judgment actions and can help you defend the process to ensure that you keep your valuables and belongings safe from collection.
Depending on where you live, the property that creditors are allowed to take varies. Typically, they can take up to 25% of your net wages, bank and deposit accounts, as well as personal property such as entertainment systems and cars. In Pennsylvania a creditor cannot garnish your wages; however a creditor can freeze your bank account when your wages are deposited into it. Each state has certain property that is considered “exempt” and is off-limits to judgment creditors. Your debt settlement attorney can guide you through this process and ensure that you understand which property is at risk and which is safe.
There are various methods that judgment creditors use to make collections. Some of the most common are:
Wage attachments are usually the first method that judgment creditors will use because they can get the money directly from your employer, however wage garnishment in Pennsylvania is prohibited.
Another common collection method used by judgment creditors is a property lien. These liens are placed against real estate that you own. In Pennsylvania, the creditor has to record the judgment with the prothonotary of the court of common pleas in the county where the debtor owns property (now or in the future). The lien is valid for five years; it is renewable. These property liens will be paid from the property when it is sold by the debtor.
Property levies allow creditors to make claims upon your personal property, which can be any kind of personal belonging including your flat screen TV, antiques and even your baseball card, stamps or coin collection. After taking your property, the creditor will have it sold through the sheriff or constable involved in the process.
If your are currently in the process of having a judgment creditor go after your property, bank account or belongings in Philadelphia, you will want to find a good bankruptcy lawyer. A lawyer can help you understand all of the rules and options available to you. In certain situations, bankruptcy may be the best course of action after a creditor judgment has been filed; in other circumstances debt settlement may be appropriate. William D. Schroeder, Jr. has been helping people in Philadelphia for 30 years and will help you get through the process and protect your belongings. For more information or to schedule a 30 minute, $50 consultation, call (215) 822-2728 today.