Legal Question in Credit and Debt Law in Georgia


My wife and I moved to Georgia a few years ago. My wife has mentioned something about Georgia being a state where she thought a debtor trying to collect debt from JOHN DOE can go after property in the name of JANE DOE (JOHN's wife), for example, bank accounts or to try and garnish wages, due to JOHN and JANE being married.

My wife might have used the term "shared property state" as it relates to Georgia, but I'm not sure if that is true for Georgia or if that would be the proper description for what she is describing as it applies to debt.

Does anyone know what she is talking about? Is she correct? In Georgia, can a debtor lawfully attempt to get a lien on a spouse's bank account or garnish their wages based on collecting a debt in the other spouse's name?

Thanks in advance for the feedback and insight.

-Tom C.

Asked on 9/12/13, 2:14 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Glen Ashman Ashman Law Office

Your wife is in error. Creditors cannot go after the spouse's separate assets. (If you set up joint accounts at the bank or joint assets, they can go after that).

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Answered on 9/12/13, 2:33 pm

Robert Gardner Hicks, Massey & Gardner, LLP

Georgia is not a community property state. The property of one spouse is not the property of the other unless it is held or titled jointly. Joint bank accounts are fair game to the creditor of either party, as are joint real estate or other joint assets. The paycheck of one spouse or their separately held property is not subject to the other party's creditors.

The answer to this questions is informational only, and it is not intended to be legal advise. Only an attorney who has met with you and gone over all of the specific facts of your case can give you legal advice upon which you should rely. Follow up questions are welcome via the email below, and our firm offers free consultations via phone or in person. We have convenient offices in Winder, Jefferson, and Gainesville Georgia, and you should feel free to contact our office at (770) 307-4899, via email at [email protected], or through our website:

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Answered on 9/13/13, 6:46 am

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