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donata

Pro supp after failure of divorce decree

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Several weeks ago, I was served a "proceedings supplemental" by the attorney who obtained default judgment against me in 2014. I learned that even though I fall below "exempt" levels in terms of assets and currently only have disability income, I MUST attend or be at risk for body attachment warrants being issued. I made the 100 mile round trip (with suspended driver's license) and met with the attorney, who seemed 1) displeased that I am not employed and 2) is adamant that I MUST agree to a "payment plan". I have seen mention of "filing exemptions with the Court" but there are never any explanations as to how this accomplished. At any rate, I was told I must now return in a couple weeks to go before the judge, who "won't accept" less than

a $50/month payment agreement.

 

The attorney insinuated that I'm not "too disabled" ... I SHOULD be working, to pay the attorney, apparently. And if I am not working, I need to dig into the disability money, despite the fact that it barely makes the monthly living expenses. I was told I can do this "the easy way or the hard way" and that I "like the hard way" and THAT is the reason I now have to go back to the court. I told the attorney I was left with numerous problems to deal with (on my own) when I was defrauded of settlement; this was after telling atty I had only disability income and believe my assets fall below the exemption level set for the state. I also explained that I am not willing to make a promise that I can't (be sure to) keep. So, I can now go to court again in about a week, tell the judge my "sob story" and the insinuation is that won't get me very far.

 

1) How are "exemptions" filed with the court?

 

2) Is there an automatic right to reassign a fee award (from divorce decree) based on sale of real estate to a personal judgment against me, when I took every action I could to avoid the default (of legitimate sale) engineered by ex, which was beyond my control, but which was

     predictable and preventable - had the attorney chosen an action besides "withdrawal from the case" (which also gave ex clear signal that the field was clear for action)?

 

My insistence a timely motion to clarify/modify the decree was the reason for withdrawal. but it turns out I was correct; the silence and vagueness of the decree was used to defeat it, denying me equalization, dependent benefits ordered returned and ultimately, my personal possessions and those of our children. Based on the appraisal, ex could have received no more than about $10k and that only after the attorneys and I were paid. Instead, the intentional foreclosure and sheriff sale purchase (made by his brother) netted an instant $91k equity (plus, I am told, rental income, now).

 

I was paid up to the time of the divorce hearing. The decree stated a "mutually agreeable" realtor be hired, but ex signed a one year contract with an agent "for show" and it's my understanding that judges can't interfere in private contracts. There was no mechanism to ensure the realtor was "agreeable" (and motivated). I was not on the mortgage or deed and it took me several months merely to get the information from the realtor, in order to petition the court for a change of realtor. By then, ex had allowed the house to go through foreclosure, intentionally. I was not even "allowed" a copy of the contract; I was denied settlement conference in the foreclosure and denied the opportunity to speak at the eviction hearing (small claims court). I'm being held responsible for the failure of a decree that I could see was quite flawed and in which I was not the only actor charged with performance.

 

Any assistance or insight is appreciated.  Thank you.

 

 

 

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17 hours ago, donata said:

How are "exemptions" filed with the court?

 

The question doesn't really make sense.  "Exemptions" is a reference to a law (or laws) that make certain property exempt from a civil creditor's efforts to recover a judgment.  For example, if a creditor seeks to levy on and sell your car that is worth $4k or less, you can claim it as exempt pursuant to section 34-55-10-2(b)(2) of the Indiana Statutes.  The specific mechanism by which you do this is a bit too "local" in nature for a message board such as this (and I don't think anyone from Indiana follows these boards regularly).

 

I can't even follow the run one sentence that is your second question, and which appears to be based on facts you didn't share with us.

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Thank you for the response and especially the specific Indiana code. I found that one and read it (as well as 24-4.5-5-105) which helped me know the current amounts for income subject to garnishment and property "exempt" from seizure. I've been doing a lot of reading, here and other places.

 

The second part (of my post) is confusing and I probably need to research more before trying to even ask a question about it.

 

Anyway, I did learn that I need to file an "affirmative defense" and that case law in Indiana has established that even if I don't know enough to do so, I don't lose my rights thereby (in theory, at least). I also learned that some of the county courts provide information and a mechanism for doing the debtor's exam (or proceedings supplemental) via mail rather than forcing someone to travel a long distance for no other reason than to appease a creditor and avoid a body attachment being issued for "no show".

 

Even though I was able to determine that I HAVE no income or property subject to seizure/garnishment at this time, I've been forced to go in twice as I was told I was to go before the judge the second time (to tell my "sob story"). I am thinking I may have to go before the judge in order for it to be determined that I truly am "exempt" for now, but I have to look into that. Guess I will try to learn more about filing affirmative defense and so on. Thanks again!

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