For many people, bankruptcy is a powerful tool to protect them against certain collection action and to help them get out of debt. In fact, for many people, bankruptcy provides peace of mind and a fresh financial start that no other debt relief option could.
However, not everyone needs to be protected from collation actions that creditors can take.
What Does “Judgment Proof” Mean?
People who do not have assets or income that creditors who win a lawsuit can take are said to be “judgment proof.” At its core, being judgment proof means that a person’s creditors cannot collect from them.
A creditor who sues someone for unpaid debts can get a judgment against the debtor. Once a creditor has a judgment, there are a number of powerful collection actions they can take, including wage garnishment, bank levies, or placing liens on a property. Learn more in our article My Creditor Sued Me and Now Has A Judgment here.
Why Being Judgment Proof Matters
Being judgment proof may mean that a person does not have to file for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy stops creditors from being able to collect on debts. If someone is judgment proof and has nothing creditors can collect, then they may not need to or may choose not to, file for bankruptcy.
Determining If You Are Judgment Proof
Are you wondering if you may be judgment proof? Review the following criteria to help you determine if you’re judgment proof. However, know this determination can be tricky. Talk to an experienced bankruptcy attorney to understand if you’re judgment proof and what collection action can legally be taken against you. Call us at (912) 351-9000 for a free consultation to anyone in or near Savannah, GA.
You may be judgment proof if:
- You do not own any real property, or
- You have little to no equity in a home, property, or other real estate.
- You do not own personal property of high value.
- You are unemployed or retired and do not have wages that can be garnished.
Of course, this list alone does not determine if you are judgment proof, and as we noted above such determination can be tricky.
Being Judgment Proof May Be Temporary
It is true that some people who are judgment proof may not need to file for bankruptcy; however, being judgment proof may only be a temporary condition. It is critical to understand that choosing not to file for bankruptcy because you are currently judgment proof may not be the best choice.
Even if you are judgment proof today, your financial picture may improve in the future. You may be currently be unemployed without wages that can be garnished by a judgment creditor, but you could become gainfully employed tomorrow. You may not own real property today, but you may inherit property in the future.
In Georgia, judgments against you are valid for seven years and may be extended for seven-year terms until the judgment is satisfied. We urge you to explore if filing for bankruptcy protection now is the best choice.
Here at the Law Office of Barbara B. Braziel we will help you determine if you are judgment proof, and make sure you understand the benefits of bankruptcy and how filing with effect you and your family. We take the time to explain the bankruptcy process to our clients. We invite you to learn more about our firm here and come meet with us for a free no-obligation consultation.
Reach out to us by email at info@BrazielLaw.com or call (912) 351-9000.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.