Creditors will use all types of shady, threatening tactics to attempt to frighten debtors into paying up. One of the most important defenses a debtor can have to combat these vultures is knowledge. Knowing your rights and knowing what income and assets of yours are protected from collection by creditors. By being aware of the limitations creditors have, you can regain some of the power creditor harassment strips you of.
First things first, before a creditor can collect on a debt, typically, they have to get a judgment against you. This means they must sue you and receive a court order proving that you owe them money. This is the first step for them and it is not a sudden one either. There will correspondence from the courts informing you as the judgment process is happening and plenty of time to consult a bankruptcy attorney beforehand.
So, say a creditor manages to get a judgment against you –even then there are incomes and assets that are protected. Certain things the creditors will not be able to collect on. Property and personal items have dollar values that are exempt. There are federal and state variations to these exemptions. The best thing to do is consult a bankruptcy attorney to determine the specific amounts for your property.
Federal and state laws have varying rules regarding protected income as well. The specifics get into income such as HAS’s, life insurance, and pensions. The big and usually most relevant protected incomes for our clients are social security, SSI, and Veteran’s benefits. As with everything, there are loopholes and ways for these incomes and benefits to become non-exempt so it is important to be careful.
The best thing to do is to consult an experienced Kain & Scott bankruptcy attorney to walk through your situation and help you protect yourself from your creditors.
Worried about your incomes and assets being seized by creditors? Visit www.kainscott.com to request a bankruptcy consultation and put your mind as ease.