Debt Collection
Bankruptcy Law
Income Garnishment

What can be seized after a financial judgment?


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States establish laws concerning what personal and real property can be attached by creditor judgments. In the majority of US states the debtor's wages can be garnished or bank account levied. Secured property such as a vehicle or home can generally be protected by the exemption allowed or a lien placed against real property belonging to the debtor. It is extremely important for homeowner's to be knowledgeable about the homestead exemption and how the primary residence should be titled and/or filed according to the state law. Some states have the homestead exemption "automatically" included in state statutes, other states require that a declaration of homestead be filed in the names of all the persons listed on the deed/title to the property. Exemptions that are allowed under the bankruptcy laws of the state in which the debtor resides are the same as those used to protect designated property from seizure by a judgment creditor. Non federal bankruptcy exemptions may also be applicable, (Social Security benefits, miltary or government pensions, etc.). Judgment exemptions are NOT automatically granted, the judgment debtor must file the claim for such with the court and the judgment creditor's legal counsel.