Notice of Right to Claim Exemptions in NC
In North Carolina you only have 20 days to claim your exemptions after being served. Service is usually by Sheriff or certified mail. Also be aware that is the Sheriff serves someone in your household that is service on you! Failure to properly file your NC exemptions with the Court may expose your bank accounts, house, car, and other property to seizure. Even your house and car you are still paying on may be sold if you waive your exemptions. What if your car has no equity- why would the creditor want it? To get your attention and convince you to start making monthly payments..
North Carolina generally does not allow for garnishment of wages for Civil Judgments. This leaves little options for creditors outside of seizing property to satisfy judgments. If you have been served by the Sheriff or certified mail make sure you properly file your exemptions in person at the courthouse within 20 days.
Don't let this happen to you.
What should be exempted?
- Bank accounts (List your Checking, Savings, and any accounts joint with a parent, spouse etc…)
- Houses (Do you own a 2nd rental house or mountain home?)
- Land (are you on property with a sibling or parent?)
- Cars (check your car title or registration to see if you are listed on a car driven by child or spouse)
- Jet Ski, boat etc... (What can the Sheriff see if he walks around your house?)
- Household goods (Furniture, clothes, TV’s, etc…)
- 401K’s and IRA’s (do you have any non-retirement brokerage accounts?)
- Jewelry such as wedding rings
What is the creditor looking to take- Bank accounts and large items that can be sold at an auction such as land, cars, boats, and ATV’s. Although your couch would not clear the auction fees, you are best served to list it or else you leave it exposed.
- Remember there is no designated spot to list your bank account on the forms supplied by the Court, but you still should list each and every account- don’t leave your bank accounts exposed as that is often the first place creditors go.
- Make sure you don’t have more in each bank account than you claim as exempt.
- Don’t let the Sheriff in your house without a warrant (unlikely they will have one)
- File your exemptions in person at the Courthouse and keep a file stamped copy yourself!
- Serve a copy of your filed exemptions on the creditor's attorney. Regular mail is fine.
- If you have any questions or concerns call a lawyer.
- Be aware that if you are served exemptions again in the future they must be resubmitted at the Courthouse- your old exemptions no longer apply each time a new execution is started. Be sure to update with new values.