Have you been served with a Citation to Discover Assets from a creditor? Are you wondering which of your assets are subject to collection? Your attorney will know the specifics for defending your action, but this article describes a couple of exemptions that you can request to protect some of your assets. (Please note that these exemptions do not apply to repossessions of property in which a creditor has a security interest, such as with vehicles, which are subject to repossession if you default on your car payments.)
First, a creditor can only request that your employer garnish a portion of your wages. You are entitled to take home an amount of roughly $372 per week. If your net weekly income (gross income minus taxes) is less than this amount, your employer cannot deduct amounts for the creditor. If your net weekly income is more than this amount, your employer can deduct the lesser of the following two options: either 15% of your weekly gross wages; the amount of your net pay over $372. Additionally, your employer may withhold small fees for responding to the wage deduction process.
Wild Card Exemption
Second, you can claim $4k as an exemption in any personal property of your choice. Here, you can identify which items of personal property (including amounts in your bank accounts) that you wish to claim as exempt from collection, up to $4k.
Third, you can claim an exemption in any one vehicle, up to $2,400. Additionally, if your vehicle is worth for instance $3,400, you can claim the remaining $1k under your wild card exemption.
Real Property
Fourth, you can claim $15k of equity in your residence (and $30k if the property is jointly owned and you and your spouse are creditors). Additionally, if you own property as a joint tenancy with your spouse – and only one spouse is liable on the judgment – the whole property is exempt.
Fifth, there are miscellaneous other exemptions that you can claim, which your attorney will know including, but not limited to: public aid, social security benefits, alimony support and maintenance, pensions, some lawsuit awards, and $1,500 of professional tools of the trade.
This is just a general overview of some of the exemptions that you can take. Different circumstances can yield different results, and only your attorney will know the best way to proceed with your specific case.