Being Judgment Proof Is The World’s Lousiest Superpower
Florida Man has superpowers that leave the inhabitants of the other 49 states awestruck, clicking on Floridian news sites to see what he will do next. Only in Florida does a guy jump into a crocodile pond at a zoo just to say he did it, come out unscathed, and then jump back in to retrieve the cell phone he dropped amidst the fearsome reptiles. Only in Florida do people drive to Sawgrass Mills when the parking lot is so flooded that parking spaces and drainage ditches look alike. If anyone has ever taken a selfie outdoors during a hurricane, it probably happened in Florida. Debt is ubiquitous, even in Florida, and it stands to reason that Floridians have thought of some creative ways to avoid paying debts. The law offers cash strapped borrowers a defense known as being judgment proof, but judgment proof is not something to aspire to. A Boca Raton debt lawyer can help you determine whether you are judgment proof and choose the best strategy for dealing with creditors and repaying your debts, or not repaying them, as the case may be.
Judgment Proof Is Just Another Word for Dirt Poor
If you don’t pay a debt, the creditor, or a collection agency that bought the debt from the original creditor, can sue you. If the creditor wins the lawsuit, the court will issue a judgment against you, which means that the debt is now as obligatory as child support or taxes. If you still don’t pay, then the creditor can go back to court, show the previous judgment to the judge, and ask the court to garnish your bank account or paychecks. In other words, it is possible for the court to take money you owe, even if you do not consent to paying it.
One way to avoid this, but certainly not the most desirable way, is to be judgment proof. If you are judgment proof, it means that you own no assets to speak of, and your income is so low that if the court garnished your bank account, you would not be able to pay for basic necessities like food, housing, and utilities. Some judgment proof people are living on a fixed income because of advanced age or disability, while others work at low-income jobs and barely earn enough to make ends meet.
Certain types of income are exempt from judgment collection. This includes Social Security income, public sector retirement benefits, alimony, and child support income. Once your bank account balance exceeds twice the income you get per month from these benefits, you are no longer judgment proof.
The world would be a dismal place indeed if your only options were having creditors gobble up your money through years-old judgments or staying so poor that there was nothing for them to gobble up. Fortunately, bankruptcy protection and debt consolidation loans are available for the brighter days when you are no longer judgment proof.
Contact a South Florida Debt Lawyer About Getting Out of the Judgment Proof Doldrums
A South Florida debt lawyer can help you avoid giving up everything you own to creditors, even if you are no longer judgment proof. Contact Nowack & Olson, PLLC in Boca Raton, Florida to discuss your case.