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I currently live in South Carolina. However, I had a secured debt (furniture loan) that was taken out in Ohio.  I have regrettably defaulted on this, and am looking to file for bankruptcy relief soon.

 

However, the lawyer I consulted with told me that I couldn't be garnished for consumer debt in South Carolina.  However, the company is telling me that since it's secured debt, I can be, and will be, as they (per them) already do so now with people in South Carolina.

 

I'm not sure if this is a scare tactic or what's going on, but I don't have the funds available to get the petition filed yet, so I'm looking for answers as to if I can be garnished or not. Additionally, my bank account, new since I moved here a year ago, gets funds deposited into it from Social Security. Does that protect it at all?

 

I appreciate the help and guidance.

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While social security funds are exempt from garnishment, in some states, if the funds are mixed with other money it can lose its protection, so it is best to have only social security funds in the bank account.

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7 hours ago, nanakimmy said:

I currently live in South Carolina. However, I had a secured debt (furniture loan) that was taken out in Ohio.

 

So...you used to live in Ohio and then moved to South Carolina?

 

 

7 hours ago, nanakimmy said:

the lawyer I consulted with told me that I couldn't be garnished for consumer debt in South Carolina.  However, the company is telling me that since it's secured debt, I can be. . . .  I'm not sure if this is a scare tactic or what's going on, but I don't have the funds available to get the petition filed yet, so I'm looking for answers as to if I can be garnished or not.

 

The confusion stems from your use of "I couldn't [or can] be garnished," which is meaningless.  A person cannot be garnished.  A garnishment is a process whereby one or more assets are seized in order to satisfy a debt.  In most states, a creditor who sues you and obtains a judgment can seek to enforce that judgment by having the sheriff seize the debtor's non-exempt assets and selling them at auction.  Also in most states, a creditor who sues you and obtains a judgment can garnish your wages (up to 25% of take-home pay).  However, South Carolina does not permit wage garnishment, and that may be what the lawyer you spoke with was telling you.

 

However, if the creditor that owns the loan sues you and gets a judgment, it could try to enforce the judgment by seeking to garnish your bank account or other assets.  Also, if this creditor has properly secured the loan (presumably by filing a UCC-1 financing statement against the furniture you bought), then it may seek to repossess the furniture.  The problem with that is that the furniture is presumably located in your home, and I doubt South Carolina law would permit the creditor to forcibly enter your home to repossess the furniture.

 

 

7 hours ago, nanakimmy said:

Additionally, my bank account, new since I moved here a year ago, gets funds deposited into it from Social Security. Does that protect it at all?

 

If the creditor sues you and obtains a judgment and seeks to garnish your bank account, your bank may have some obligation under federal law as concerns the deposit of social security funds.  I'm not sure of the specifics of that obligation.

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25 minutes ago, pg1067 said:

your bank may have some obligation under federal law as concerns the deposit of social security funds

 

Here's a summary of that obligation:

 

http://www.nlada100years.org/sites/default/files/TREASURY RULES ON GARNISHMENT.pdf

 

And the CFR (federal code) that covers it:

 

https://www.federalreserve.gov/boarddocs/supmanual/cch/garnishment.pdf

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