am I judgement proof

by John
(Saint Joseph MO USA)

I am 73 and totally disabled. My wife has a summons for court for a credit card bill. I had a credit card with them before. An attorney told us we were judgement proof before she went back to work - I believe I still am - since only she has an income - if they serve me can I ignore it. We own our house but it's within the missouri exemption as are our vehicles - so is personal belongs and social security is supposed to be untouchable - we are both on that - she is 62 and we get $1600.00 a month from that. he said ss can not be touched.


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Dec 05, 2011
am I judgement proof

Based on the information you shared with us, it sounds like perhaps you are what's commonly called "judgment proof." That means that although you can be sued, if the lawsuit ends in a judgment against you, the business that sued you has no way now to collect the amount of the judgment. (That could change in the future, though, of your financial situation.) Of course, we are not attorneys, and we can't offer legal advice specific to your situation.

Read: Am I Judgment Proof?

However, in your question, you indicate that your wife is the one who is being sued, not you, and because she is working, she is not judgment proof. Therefore, if the credit card company wins its lawsuit against her, it could ask the court for permission to garnish her wages to collect the judgment amount.

It is very important that she not ignore the summons she has received! She needs to respond to it within the appropriate time frame. If she does not (or if she responds and then does not show up in court for the hearing related to the money she is being sued for), it's likely that the judge will award the creditor a default judgment against your spouse.

If she appears in court, she will at least have an opportunity to tell her side of the story, and there is a possibility that she might be able to work out an affordable payment plan with the credit card company or even settle her debt for less than what she owes in exchange for having the lawsuit dropped. (Note: Your wife could also try to negotiate an affordable payment plan or a settlement with the credit card company before the day of the hearing as well.) For information about how settlement works, I recommend you and your wife listen to our free debt settlement podcast.

If you need help with the lawsuit or have more questions about your legal status, I recommend that you contact the attorney you consulted with previously.

Dec 05, 2011
am I judgement proof
by: helen

I am 55 and have not worked since June 2010. I do not know how the ss works as I have a termination letter from my company that per my doctor, there was no "cure" for my illness and that he also could not give them any time of time frame as to a return date - as they had given me 7.5 months under ada and the Dr stated no contact with the public due to my disorder pending re evaluation, they termed me - ss claims I am just fine and dandy to go back to same job and I am awaiting alj hearing - in the meantime, one by one, i stopped paying credit cards. I had in excess of 80,000 in debt due to Bipolar before it was diagnosed. Two cards that my husband was an auth user on he has been managing to pay due to the low interest rate and I have one that I left open because I play the charge this month, pay the next (I receive an annuity from a rape case of 425 a month - that is it) -- The only thing me and my husband have both our names on jointly is our house which they can not take in Florida - I took the Florida means test and added up total of my husbands debt and mine versus what he makes and it came out 242 percent in the it likely they will put a lien on our home?? The house cost 68,000 - we now owe still on it 77,000 - he is 62 and I am 55.

Reply from

Helen - You really need to meet with a bankruptcy attorney
who can review your situation and advise you. Even if you don't have assets these creditors can go after to collect, we are concerned that the stress of dealing with all of these creditors - and possible lawsuits over these debts - could be harmful for your health. You need to focus on getting well, and dealing with these large debts could jeopardize that. Please talk with an attorney as soon as possible.

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