Last year I was in the middle of a family crisis. I was served with a civil complaint from a credit card company, but there was no way I could deal with that so I did not show up at the hearing. A judgement was filed against me in county court. I have done nothing about it, but can not afford to have my bank acct frozen. I have direct deposit for my pension and ssd this is the only income I have. What should I do to keep my money safe?
My suggestion is to open a new bank account into which you would deposit all of your exempt funds, and maintain another account for any non-exempt funds you may receive (gifts from friends, income from work, etc.). You will then need to notify your bank that the funds (government administered benefits) being deposited into the exempt account should not be levied upon, and that the bank should refuse any levy orders it receives. The bank may or may not be able to guarantee that a levy will not be placed on your exempt funds, but taking these steps should offer you at least some level of protection. If a creditor does place a levy on a bank account containing exempt funds, you will likely need to file a notice of exemption with the court, and attend a hearing to request that the funds be released back to you. If the court determines that the funds are exempt from attachment, it should release the money back to you.
Generally speaking, Government administered benefits, such as state pensions and social security, cannot be garnished by a judgment. However, if you deposit those benefits into a bank account and then co-mingle the funds with money from other, non-exempt sources, proving the exempt status of the funds may be quite difficult.
Since I am not an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Pennsylvania, I cannot provide you with legal advice, and you should understand that the information I am providing is general information based. I do not know enough about your situation to offer any specific advice. I encourage you to consult with an attorney licensed to practice law in your state to determine what action you should take in regard to the lawsuit that has been filed against you, and what steps you need to take to protect your assets from your creditors. Because you are disabled, you may be able to find an attorney willing to represent you at little or no cost to you.
I hope that the information I have provided helps you Find. Learn. Save.