by Ed
(East Orange n.j.)

A creditor recently obtained a judgment against me. My only income is Social Security and a pension from state govt. I do have a house which has a mortgage and a home equity line which is at max.. My car is paid for. Can the collector, a law firm take my house and/or car? My mortgage and equity bills are current. I live in N.J.

Comments for Judgement

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Jul 09, 2009
Collection on Judgments
by: Gerri

Just because a creditors gets a judgment against you, that doesn't mean he will be able to collect on it. However, you are right to investigate and find out what can happen now that there is a judgment against you.

I am not an attorney, but my understanding is that in New Jersey, judgments can be collected for twenty years.

Usually the first thing creditors will go after is wages. But since you're not working that's not an issue.

Your Social Security income and pension are likely protected from creditors, but you'll want to talk with an attorney to be sure.

The next thing creditors will go after is property, if they are able to do so under your state laws. If so, they can try to obtain a lien against property (real property can include a home or car, etc.) so if you sell or refinance it, the creditor would have to be paid. In some cases, a creditor can try to have your property seized and sold in order to pay the lien, but whether they can do that depends on what property is "exempt" or protected from creditors, as well as state law.

I would strongly suggest you talk with an attorney. A bankruptcy attorney can explain your rights under New Jersey law. He or she will be able to tell you what creditors can and cannot do to collect that judgment in your state. The first consultation should be free, so there is no downside to meeting with one. I think you'll feel a lot better knowing what your rights and options are.

Let us know what they say, OK?

Sep 02, 2009
Can Debt Collector get to My Soc. Sec
by: Anonymous

I would like to know if debt collectors can get to my Soc. Secuity check....

Note from Gerri: I have submitted this question as a separate, new question, rather than as a comment to this page. Look for it on the main Q&A page.

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