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Even if I were never able to file, what's the worst that could happen?

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  • Even if I were never able to file, what's the worst that could happen?

    I'm really curious about this. If I just put off paying my debts indefinitely and never filed for bankruptcy, what's the worst thing creditors can do?

    I understand that I can be sued, have a judgment placed against me, and have up to 25% of my wages garnished by my creditors. But is there anything they could do beyond that?

    I'm not planning on letting it get that far (I plan on filing within the next 3-6 months), but it keeps me calm and sane to keep the worst-case scenario in mind and remind myself that it may not be as bad as I think.

    Edit: Shoot, I meant to put this in the "General Bankruptcy Talk" category and not the "General Talk" category. Sorry if this is out of place...

  • #2
    They can't put you in jail.
    They can't break your legs.
    They can't do much more than garnish your pay and slap a lien on any future inheritance, lottery winning or any other asset.

    Keep On Smilin'


    • #3
      Was able to move it for you!
      ~~ Filed Over Median Income Chapter 7: 12/17/2010 ~~ 341 Held: 1/12/2011 ~~ Discharged: 03/16/2011 ~~
      Not an attorney - just an opinionated woman.


      • #4
        They will also confiscate any funds you have in a bank account. Given that most wage earners have direct deposit these days, this could make life difficult. If you get paid by check, you can deal with a check cashing service for a fee.

        Oh yeah....some civil courts subject the debtor to a financial examination. That means you are summoned to court to determine just how much you can afford to pay the judgment holder. You can refuse to attend and have a bench warrant issued for your arrest - just make sure you come to a full stop at stop signs!


        • #5
          if they want they can also put a lien on your car, of take if if you owe it. (i hate to say a law firm i worked with did that to someone), i mean they can squeeze you every which way they can, what every the legal boundaries are in your state.
          8/4/2008 MAKE SURE AND VISIT Tobee's Blogs! and all are welcome to bk forum's Florida State Questions and Answers on BK


          • #6
            The creditor harassment can also make its way to your workplace, and your boss could get sick of dealing with your financial problems. Without filing, you don't get the protection of Section 525 that disallows adverse action by an employer.
            Filed Joint, No Asset, > $100,000 Unsecured Ch.7 6/7/13 ~~ 341 Meeting 7/15/13 ~~ Discharged 9/16/13 !!


            • #7
              Originally posted by tobee43 View Post
              if they want they can also put a lien on your car, of take if if you owe it. (i hate to say a law firm i worked with did that to someone)
              We did that to my MIL's ex-husband and his bimbo live-in after they tried to steal MIL's mobile home after her death. We drove bimbo's car for four years...
              "To go bravely forward is to invite a miracle."

              "Worry is the darkroom where negatives are formed."


              • #8
                Once garnishment has begun, wouldn't that more or less prohibit the other garnishing? And assets still need to fall under exemption rules, don't they?
                Tree is from Oregon and has a garnishment, and paid us a visit lately. Treehugger, any thoughts?

                Keep On Smilin'


                • #9
                  Yes, the exemptions do apply. In Florida, the exemption for a car is $1000.00. So after we had the car seized, and it was sold at auction--we were the only bidders--$1000.00 was paid to 'Martha', and we got the car for $8.00 over that amount. KBB valued the car at around 6-7K.
                  "To go bravely forward is to invite a miracle."

                  "Worry is the darkroom where negatives are formed."


                  • #10
                    not losing site of OP's question: Even if I were never able to file, what's the worst that could happen?

                    i think the bottom line is what the their state laws allow or how far they let a creditor go to collect on something. of the FTC as well, although many state laws override some of the federal laws. one really needs to ask themselves as well how much bs they want to put themselves through with all these wolves after them.
                    8/4/2008 MAKE SURE AND VISIT Tobee's Blogs! and all are welcome to bk forum's Florida State Questions and Answers on BK


                    • #11
                      As far as I'm aware, in Oregon they can only garnish a maximum of 25% of my wages, and $7500 of my bank deposits are exempt. I'm not sure if that's $7500 total or $7500 at any one time (even reading the statute doesn't make it clear). Oregon also doesn't allow an employer to terminate an employee because of any number of garnishments on their pay, etc. I also don't really have any assets (aside from a leased car that I'm letting get repossessed), so it's not like they'll be able to get much out of me.

                      Like I said, I don't plan on letting it get that far, but I'm trying to keep the worst case in mind so that I can prepare for it.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ValleYum View Post
                        Was able to move it for you!


                        • #13
                          If bankruptcy is not an option, then logically you would move to a state with debtor-friendly laws, such as (but not limited to) Texas, South Carolina, etc. It is best if you make that move BEFORE any lawsuit is filed, because after a judgment is granted in a state which allows garnishing wages, seizing personal property, etc, moving to a different state will not protect you from these actions.

                          Also, cashing your paycheck at a check-cashing place, and keeping the money hidden is a great way to keep creditors at bay. Even if you are asked to attend a debtor's exam, remember that you must be 100% truthful about things which the court can verify such as real estate, vehicles titled in your name, bank accounts, investment accounts, wages paid by a traditional employer. If you have cash hidden under your mattress, or work a "cash under the table" kind of job, you have no reason to disclose that at a court hearing.


                          • #14
                            Even debtor-friendly states (like Texas) are only a save haven for as long as you're willing to play hide & seek. If you can hide your cash, avoid bank accounts (and direct deposit), not acquire property, and run & hide every time you're found -- THEN you may be able to run the statute of limitations out just in time to start receiving 1099s and inquiries from the IRS. By then your credit will be trashed and you will have to prove your insolvency to the IRS for each year you receive the 1099s - so you must remain insolvent for at least as long as the SOL for your state in order to get out of the taxes alone.

                            A little bleak isn't it? Well, that's the worst that could happen, and that's IF you're in a debtor friendly state.

                            The moral of the story is that there is no easy way out. The method that drags out your misery the longest is to just not pay and never file.
                            Filed Joint, No Asset, > $100,000 Unsecured Ch.7 6/7/13 ~~ 341 Meeting 7/15/13 ~~ Discharged 9/16/13 !!


                            • #15
                              Oh, one other thing I feel obligated to point out:

                              You may read or hear that when you get sued by a debt collector, you show up to court and it's unlikely that the debt collector will, and you get the case dismissed.

                              That's bull. I got sued by Asset Acceptance. I went to the courthouse and there were no more than 5 attorneys representing creditors, and there was a courtroom FULL of people. So you bet 'they' will show up - the attorneys have nothing better to do on your court date than walk back and forth to the podium collecting judgments. The Asset Acceptance guy came forward several times (on behalf of AA and others) before it was my turn.

                              Just FYI.
                              Filed Joint, No Asset, > $100,000 Unsecured Ch.7 6/7/13 ~~ 341 Meeting 7/15/13 ~~ Discharged 9/16/13 !!


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