Our Stories

Helping a Single Mother Recover $2,000

U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California

A single mother came to Public Counsel's Bankruptcy Self Help Desk seeking advice about whether to file for bankruptcy. She attended the Clinic and successfully filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. 

Unfortunately, the Sherriff's department was still holding $2,000 of monies they had garnished before she filed her Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition.  She was distraught because, as a single mother of an autistic child, "every dollar" counts.

She said she had called other attorneys and all of them had told her there was nothing she could do or that they could not handle her case. We examined her case and researched whether she had any options available to obtain turnover of the funds still in the possession of the Sherriff's Department. 

We found that she could file a lien avoidance motion seeking release of her exempt funds, but that she would first need to exempt these funds.  We proceeded to assist her in amending her petition to exempt the $2,000 dollars seized by the Sherriff's Department.  After amending her petition, we then assisted her with filing a lien avoidance motion seeking the release of her exempt $2,000 still in the hands of the Sherriff's Department. 

When she received her $2,000 back from the Sherriff's department she sent us a kind note reading "Thank you! Because you tried!"  If the Self Help Desk had not been there to assist her with filing the Lien Avoidance motion, she would have never recovered the $2,000 dollars she desperately needed for her family.