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I lost my job after 22 years and defaulted on a credit card. I responded to the summons and appeared in court for summary of judgement (no lawyer.. pro se?) I owe the money but am receiving retirement pay that is directly deposited into my bank account. I noticed on the oscn court site that the creditor filed an AFFIDAVIT FOR DEBT COLLECTION DEFAULT JUDGMENT AND OF MILITARY SERVICE  and then a default judgement was filed by the court system. My question is can they freeze my bank account if county employee retirement is exempt from garnishment? I only receive $1300 a month and that doesn't cover all my living costs. They have not asked for assets which confuses me. Please help...thank you (it would not let me attach images)

Answer
I'm not familiar with Oklahoma law, being a California lawyer.  The rules about freezing bank accounts vary from state to state, but having a direct deposit should help.  There are federal rules that prevent freezing of bank accounts, but those apply to Social Security and various federal rights, not your county employee retirement.  You should check (1) with your bank, (2) with the court concerning the methods of claiming exemptions on your retirement, and (3) with the county agency that pays your retirement.  There are means of protecting yourself, but it is unlikely to be automatic, so you need to act now.  If you need legal assistance and cannot afford an attorney, find your local legal aid office.

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Michael T. Hertz

Expertise

I can answer most questions concerning bankruptcy, whether business or personal, including questions by debtors, creditors, persons interested in purchasing assets from bankruptcy estates, and the like. Also have expertise in tort law, French and Canadian law.

Experience

Practiced bankruptcy for 27 years in California and taught bankruptcy for three years in Maine. This included Chapters 7, 9, 11, 12 and 13 cases, representing debtors, creditors (secured and unsecured), bankruptcy trustees, creditors committees, and persons interested in purchasing assets from bankruptcies. Debtors included persons with virtually no money up to large corporations.

Organizations
Inactive member of the Bar of the State of California. Nonpracticing member of the Bar of Massachusetts. Formerly member of the Maine Bar and conseil juridique in France. Certified by National Committee on Accreditation in Canada.

Publications
Georgetown Law Review; California Bankruptcy Journal; Maine Law Review; Dalhousie Law Journal; University of Toronto Law Journal.

Education/Credentials
Harvard Law School (J.D. 1970; cum laude) and Pomona College (B.A., 1967; cum laude)

Awards and Honors
Selected as a "Superlawyer" in 2005 and 2006 for Northern California.

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