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Old 07-25-2008, 09:24 PM
 
1 posts, read 5,222 times
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A state agency is telling me that it will apply for a summary judgement against me for $375,000. This is made up of $98,000 that I owe them plus interest and damages that are specified in the contract. The facts are not in dispute and no doubt a judgement would be made.

My questions is: what can the state agency do to collect the judgement? Am I able to go bankrupt? I rent and my only assets are $40,000 in savings, $20,000 in shares, $33,000 in an IRA, and a 2004 car worth about $6,000.

Does it make a difference that a state agency will sue me instead of a private company?

I now live in Florida, which is not the state that will sue me. I have been told that Florida is the best state for asset protection. Is that true?
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Old 07-25-2008, 10:18 PM
 
48,509 posts, read 86,173,019 times
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I don't know abut asset protection in Florida but a state has alot of lawyers and they will go after your assets.The judgement can last for years . Best you contact a attorney.
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Old 07-25-2008, 10:23 PM
 
4,711 posts, read 11,179,453 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catherine85 View Post
....I have been told that Florida is the best state for asset protection. Is that true?

I believe that's true, O J Simpson moved to FL, didn't he?
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Old 07-25-2008, 10:31 PM
 
Location: RSM
5,113 posts, read 17,797,282 times
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i believe they wont touch the IRA(retirement), but im sure your car, your savings, and your stocks are fair game to some degree
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Old 07-26-2008, 06:47 AM
 
18,766 posts, read 56,573,093 times
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The primary protection Florida offers is on your principal residence, through homestead laws. Money invested in that home is "safe." Of course if you can't pay ongoing expenses or a mortgage, that becomes a moot point.
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Old 07-26-2008, 08:23 AM
 
2,840 posts, read 3,169,227 times
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You should consult with a lawyer for advice as to what relief may be available under the federal bankruptcy laws. Specifically, you need advice as to whether the claim that the state agency is seeking to enforce through judicial proceedings is dischargeable in bankruptcy; and as to the advisability of converting some of your non-exempt assets (e.g., cash, stocks) into an exempt homestead under Florida law. Regarding the former, it may be that the claim the state agency is asserting is one of the debts excepted from discharge; with respect to the latter, you need to know if you are eligible to claim Florida exemptions under the domicile provisions of the Bankruptcy Code, or if the exemption laws of the state of your former residence (or the federal exemptions) are applicable in your case. As the state agency is moving for summary judgment on its claim, you need to consult with a bankruptcy lawyer immediately. Do not try to do it yourself; seek advice and legal representation.
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Old 07-27-2008, 06:48 PM
 
Location: Ohio
21,311 posts, read 15,089,573 times
Reputation: 17741
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catherine85 View Post
A state agency is telling me that it will apply for a summary judgement against me for $375,000. This is made up of $98,000 that I owe them plus interest and damages that are specified in the contract. The facts are not in dispute and no doubt a judgement would be made.
Good, you understand exactly what summary judgment is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Catherine85 View Post
My questions is: what can the state agency do to collect the judgement?
You will be served with a subpoena to attend a Debtor's Examination/Hearing where you will have to list your assets, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, real property, and wages earned through employment.

The state can attach liens to any real property and garnishee wages, plus freeze/seize bank accounts and other instruments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Catherine85 View Post
Am I able to go bankrupt? I rent and my only assets are $40,000 in savings, $20,000 in shares, $33,000 in an IRA, and a 2004 car worth about $6,000.
No.

I seriously doubt you'd meet the guidelines for a Chapter 7. At the least, you'd be forced into a Chapter 13, where you'd have to make a minimum monthly payment to the state for at least 5 years.

However, more than likely, the debt, because it is owed to the state, might be a debt that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy, and probably has no statute of limitations.

In that case, bankruptcy would do nothing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Catherine85 View Post
Does it make a difference that a state agency will sue me instead of a private company?
Nope.

Quote:
I now live in Florida, which is not the state that will sue me. I have been told that Florida is the best state for asset protection. Is that true?
Long arm statute, so the state that is suing is irrelevant.

You are protected by a homestead exemption, except you have no home. Nobody goes after cars.

They will seize your savings, IRA and stocks. Under no circumstances should you attempt to transfer, sell or dispose of your assets unless you first consult with an attorney, and the attorney does it for you. If you do not, then you will have transfered the assets to avoid collection and that would be a fraudulent conveyance/transfer which will only cost you more grief and money.

Your best bet here is to hire an attorney to negotiate on your behalf with the state to reach a settlement. The attorney would try to get the state to accept the principal and waive the interest and damages. While $98,000 is a lot of money, it's less than $375,000.
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