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Old 03-04-2015, 12:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 1
Joint Checking and Savings Account Garnishment

My wife and I live in Oregon and have been married since 2012. Our joint checking and savings accounts were garnished yesterday by a collection agency to the tune of $3905 on a $6500 debt. The garnishment was for a debt my wife had prior to our being married and my name does not appear anywhere on the debt. In fact, the writ of garnishment dates back to 2008! Out of the blue, they just took everything we had, all the way down to zero plus fees! And now we have no way to pay our mortgage or even go to the grocery store. The questions I have are:

1) What if any of this debt am I responsible for as the spouse?
2) If I am responsible for part, how do I recover it?
3) Do I need a lawyer and how do I pay one when I have no money(they took it all)?
4) What if any damages, punitive or otherwise can I levy against the collection agency?

Any help would be great, as I am very worried.
blazrman is offline  
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Old 03-05-2015, 12:21 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 98
Debt

Since Oregon is not a community property debt and this debt was incurred by a spouse when they were single or before marriage, it is the debt of the debtor spouse. However, this debt can only be collected or reimbursed for the debt paid from your account- at divorce. At that point you may have a claim that your funds were used for the debt. Before that since you are a "community" you cannot really claim reimbursement "legally" in court. You may do it independently from your own spouse on your own terms.
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