Legal Question in Credit and Debt Law in Pennsylvania
I live in Pennsylvania and had a judgment entered against me in 2005 for a credit card. I have heard nothing from that until yesterday when I went to the bank and found that my account are frozen. It has been 6 to 7 years since this debt. Now I cannot pay bills or feed my children. The 2 accounts they froze were a personal account of mine with only $300.00 in it, the other is a joint account with my husband. His name was not on the credit card. Can they take money from a joint account to satisfy the debt if it is a spouse whos name was not on the original credit card or the judgment?
1 Answer from Attorneys
First, you had plenty of notice about this. You had notice of the lawsuit. You then would have received a 10-day letter about entry of the judgment if you ignored the answer. Some creditors also givev notice that the judgment has been entered although there is no requirement that they do so. You may also have received post-judgment letters trying to work something out. And you are claiming now that they gave you no notice of the intent to freeze your bank account? For obvious reasons, creditors never do this. If theey did, people would draing their bank accounts.
It does not matter which accounts were frozen. If you knew that you had a judgment against you and someone else's nome was on it, that account was at risk. The only way to have protected yourself was to take your name off the account if you were the judgment debtor.
That money is gone - you are not going to get it back. What you need to do now is what you should have done a long time ago. Get your name off of any bank accounts whether joint or not. Have your husband open a separate bank account in just his name alone. Keep no more than $300 in a bank account in your name, but it would be better if you opened an online bank account at an out-of-state bank or got a pre-paid debit card.
Once you take these steps, know that judgments last forever even if they can only stay on your credit report for 7 years. So you need to resolve this. You either pay in full, either in a lump sum or monthly installments, settle it for less than the balanced owed or get it discharged in bankruptcy.
If you wish to resolve this debt in a non-bankruptcy context, I assist many PA clients with that. Please contact me at [email protected] if you are interested.
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If you someone money can they post it in a public forum? Asked 5/01/12, 4:40 pm in United States Pennsylvania Credit, Debt and Collections Law