Can credit card companies take your money or property if you don’t pay?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can credit card companies take your money or property if you don’t pay?

About half of my income is going to pay income taxes that I couldn’t pay last year. The credit card interest is awful (23%). Can they take the money out of my bank account or take my home or car if I don’t make the payments? My income is direct deposit from Social Security retirement.

Asked on September 25, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Oregon

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

First of all, if you owe for a debt and cannot pay, a creditor would have to sue you in court and obtain a judgment. Once a judgment was granted, then your creditor could proceed against your assets (i.e. money or property). That is all of your "non-exempt" (i.e. not legally protected) assets.

Social Security benefits are considered to be "exempt"; therefore they are protected under the law. However the best way to do this is to have them deposited directly into your account (as opposed to depositing a SS check yourself into the account).

A house is offered protection in many states as a "homestead". However, if that is available the law on this varies from state-to-state. My research suggests that in OR the first $40,000 of equity is exempted ($50,000 for a married couple).

A car can be seized but it typically depends on the model year and condition; it is almost never done on an older or high mileage car. The exemption for motor vehicles in your state is $3,000 in equity.

At this point, you may want to consult directly with a local attorney. They can best advise you more fully as to current state law.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption