When a personal finance matter turns into a legal matter, it’s time to act quickly. I got a call yesterday from an individual in Charlotte (Mecklenburg County) who received a Motion To Claim Exempt Property. He was confused by the language used in the motion, and of course wanted guidance on what to do next. In one quick phone call, we discussed the motion, I asked a few questions about his finances and we decided together how to respond.
If you receive a motion to claim exempt property, it is because a creditor has obtained a judgment against you. It should be regarded as a clear sign that the creditor is attempting to collect on the judgment. While that may cause anxiety, the Motion To Claim Exempt Property is actually reminding you that you have rights, and is giving you a chance to exercise those rights.
Once you receive this notice, you have twenty days to respond by filing a written response with the court. If you fail to file the response, you waive your right to the exemptions (protections) that the state offers. These protections are similar to the protections you have by law when filing a bankruptcy, so a bankruptcy attorney is the right person to speak to when you receive the motion.
With the help of an attorney, you can either fill out the form and submit it to the court, or you can file a bankruptcy petition which puts a stay on the collection process by notifying ALL creditors that you have chosen to file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Equity in the following items is protected or exempted by the state:
Your residence: $35,000 (single) $70,000 (married)
Your car: $3,500
Miscellaneous items (“Wild card”): $5,000
Other household items: $5,000 (single) $10,000 (married)
Other—Some items like 401k through an employer or IRA accounts of your own may be entirely protected. Your lawyer can assist in making that determination for you
Let me help you relieve some of this stress and move forward confidently. Whether you choose to file the response yourself, file it with an attorney, or file a bankruptcy with a lawyer in Charlotte, The important thing to do is ACT NOW. Call me at 704.749.7747 to discuss the options and decide today what’s best for you.