Author’s note: Well, you can’t be right all of the time. A previous version of this post was incorrect in saying that Social Security disability benefits put in a bank account via direct deposit were immediately subject to garnishment. Thanks to sharp-eyed reader JeffM, I was reminded of Section 207 of the Social Security Act and more recent additions to the law applying to such benefits that prohibit direct garnishment. I have modified the post to remove the erroneous information and apologize to everyone except Bill Schmalfeldt for any inconvenience. As far as he is concerned, there are many, many ways to skin a cat. -de
Welcome back to the
Bill Schmalfeldt has today gone full Kimberlin. Apparently finally coming to grips with the inescapable fact that he is doomed in John Hoge’s litigation against him, he now drags out his secret weapon. He’s judgment proof! Why?, anyone with a grain of common sense asks. Well, because as Schmalfeldt slyly hints in a seemingly endless shitstorm of tweets today, our friendly federal government won’t garnish his disability retirement payments. Nor, with limited exceptions, can private creditors so long as the benefits are direct deposited into a bank account owned by Schmalfeldt. But
Our oafish friend must figure that if his pal “Killer” Kimberlin can dodge hundreds of thousands of dollars in a judgment owed to Carl DeLong’s widow it ought to be a piece of cake to escape the mere fifty grand that Schmalfeldt may well be on the hook for awarded to Hoge, and especially easy-peasy with the feds helping him out. Well, Bill… look, I know we’ve had our differences in the past, but let me give you a little help here. Let’s check those plans out with an expert, a bona fide smart guy.
When a Social Security disability payment hits the bank, so long as it is withdrawn within a two month period it pretty much cannot be seized by a private creditor. This is, however, the extent of the protection. As soon as the money leaves the bank into which it has been deposited and is thus converted from a protected deposit into something else- cash, a money order, a deposit in a new bank or other financial institution, an asset, it is subject to being taken by a judgment creditor limited only by the state of residence’s garnishment laws. So unless Bill Schmalfeldt is very, very careful, he may find himself waking up to
Yep. You got it. Stuff is gone. Taken. Hasta la bye-bye.
But you can transfer the money to a secret bank account, right. Like one you don’t have to tell anyone about, or one in someone else’s name. Let’s take the second one first, as it’s pretty simple. A judgment creditor has the advantage of acting first, and by and large without warning. If it is reasonable to believe that a judgment debtor’s assets are being placed in another person’s account or name to conceal them, yes, there’s a few hoops to jump through, but ultimately the law provides the tools to sort this situation out, and concealment of assets in this manner can lead to criminal law consequences.
A sooper sekrit bank account? Yeah, that’s the ticket! You just won’t tell mean old Hoge where the bank is and in that way just go on with your merry life free from the inconvenience of having him seize your money.
Go ahead. Do ‘ya feel lucky, punk? Make John Hoge’s day. If you do, it is likely that, fairly shortly, you’ll be hearing from the Maryland court system with a notice containing some form of these words: “Oral Examination in Aid of Enforcement of Judgment.” At this hearing, which you ignore under penalty of contempt (although by that point you probably will be an old hand in terms of familiarity with being held in contempt), you can be forced by the judgment creditor- John Hoge- to disclose under penalty of perjury all sorts of information, to include the location and numbers of any bank accounts to which your name is attached or which others maintain for you. The judgment creditor is entitled to things such as identification and location of assets, disclosure of the recent transfer of money or other assets by you, copies of past tax returns and investment account statements, credit card account information and the like. The judgment creditor can file a lien against you, record it, and send copies to places you make regular payments in intercepting those monies. Visa and Mastercard do not want, after they receive lien paperwork concerning an account holder, to accept money that they may be forced to disgorge down the road, and it is possible your credit account will be closed in any event. Bank and other lending officers will not give you the time of day. Basically if you owe a judgment to a determined creditor, life as you know it will be pretty much over.
Is John Hoge such a determined creditor? Well, what do you think about your situation at this point, Bill?