If I have no job, under $2,500 in savings and no car, am I judgement proof?

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If I have no job, under $2,500 in savings and no car, am I judgement proof?

I have nothing in my name. I just have my personal belongings in this apartment. Would I be safe from judgement execution or execution of personal property? Do I have to file for this or do I explain it in the court date or when I get an information subpoena?

Asked on June 17, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You do NOT explain that you are "judgment proof"--in the first place, that is a commonly used term, but one that actually has no legal meaning; and in the second place, many attorneys (like myself) would take that as either evidence you are in fact hiding something and/or as a challenge, and thus rebouble efforts to collect. Simply answer honestly about your income and assets on an information subpoena or if asked under oath in court and let the other party draw whatever conclusions it wants.

Bear in mind the following:

1) Certain personal property can be executed on (seized and sold to satisfy a judgment), such as high-end or big-ticked items, like a big screen television, a computer, certain furniture--you may not be quite as judgment proof as you think.

2) It may be possible to garnish your wages, if you are working.

3) A judgment can be enforced for years to come; if your economic situation improves in the future, it may be possible for  the judgment creditor to collect from you then.


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