What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Virginia
Hey all - Let me first get this out of the way. The debt I am going to refer to, I do not dispute. I am not one of these poor me, I made a bad decision so I should be forgiven types. However, I do want to be sure what our rights are so we do not get screwed.
My wife had a credit card in her name from before we were married. She couldn't pay it, went to court back in May of 2008 and got a judgment against her. A few months later she went back to court for a garnishment hearing. At this time, she did not have a lawyer as she assumed that because she did not dispute the charges she didn't need one. They didn't even let her speak in court though.
I am not sure about VA in regards to if the type of garnishment has to be specified. It appears on the summons that it was referencing a wage garnishment. She has worked every day since this date and not one time did they garnish her checks.
We haven't gotten anything from them in a long time and was just starting to form a plan of action to pay all our debts down. This was one I was going to try to settle if possible - they were trying to charge us $3,664 for an $800 bill. However, we were not at that point yet, so I just had it in the pile. No sense in calling them if I cannot bring anything to the table.
Well, today I went to get a drink and the store and my bank account was declined. This is weird because just this morning I had like $600 in there.
I checked my account and there is a $3,664 garnishment hold on my account. But it gets better. My wife has her own account and that was garnished for the same amount as well. The bank said that right now they are just holds. She only had like $200 in her account.
My account was initially a sole account; however, I added her on there one day so she could cash a check off my account. That is the only involvement she has ever had with that account. I can prove that every bit of money in that account comes from my payroll and not hers. So, essentially, they took my money for her debt. I understand that we are married, and all that jazz, but still...just doesn't seem right as this is our livliehood and we have 3 kids - all this 2 weeks before Christmas...great souls they are right?
I have to wait until tomorrow to call them to see what I can do. However, my question is this - can they really wait this long to all of a sudden go through with the garnishment. Its been more than 3 years..I thought that this process had to happen sooner than that.
Also, in VA will there be any recourse for the joint account and me being able to prove this is all my earned income?
Finally, at the time of the garnishment hearing, the Homestead Exemption was reference, but there was no information listed on there and it was never explained, so she never claimed it. Is there a statute of limitations on claiming that?
Sorry for all the questions, but this (obviously) has me stressed out. Thanks!