Can creditors come after your home or your vehicles?

UPDATED: Oct 21, 2011

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Can creditors come after your home or your vehicles?

My husband and I are thinking of filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy. He is 59 and I am 56. We live in a house that we are continuing to pay on and we own 3 vehicles (the newest is 2004 and the other 2 are 1998 and earlier). I filed bankruptcy 7 years ago before I met my husband. Most of our bills are medical.  My husband is concerned with as we age and there are more medical bills, how will we be able to pay our bills then?

Asked on October 21, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Yes, your home and your vehicles are potentially subject to collection action by creditors. First, of course, the creditor must get a judgment against you--must sue and win (which includes winning by default, if you do not show up or respond)--it's the judgment that establishes the legal right to collect. If a creditor obtains a judgment against you and you do not pay, then they creditor can try to use one of several different mechanisms to secure payment:

* Garnishing, or taking a percentage of, your wages (note: certain types of income, like social security, cannot be garnished; but income from you job always can be)

* Garnishing, or taking some (or all) of your bank account

* Putting a lien on real property

* Forcing the sale of certain of your property or assets--like vehicles.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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