New here, and not getting much direction from attorneys I've consulted with.
Here's the brief situation: moved to a different state to be near a sick parent, working as an independent contractor/self-employed freelancer (not big bucks). Ended up renting a place from a landlord that I came to find out TOO LATE is an absolute psychotic nightmare. I have always been an excellent tenant, no problems whatsoever - always pay on time, meticulously clean, quiet, no trouble. Move into this guy's house and nothing works, it takes weeks and months to get anything fixed, he's a complete pathological liar and paranoid in the real sense, and he sneaks into my unit without my permission.
Fast forward to he won't stop entering my unit without permission, when I repeatedly ask him to. Send him a written notice, he still waltzes in with his keys and the lease says I can't change keys (who knows he'd be crazy, though??). I feel scared and powerless.
I speak with the sheriff and am advised to get a protective order, which I do. Turns out the LL gets really p.o.'ed and turns around and tries to evict me for all sorts of FALSE allegations (like laughable, ridiculous stories he made up). I hire an attorney (who is a DUD, I later find out), and we go to court to fight eviction, but it's a small town "all boys club" court and they know their attorney (local yokel) and vote in their favor: eviction and a judgement for their attorney's fees. I want to appeal the decision, but said attorney says we'll lose MORE money and I'm already nearly broke. So I tell my attorney let's talk payment plans - I have had a very slow 6 months of clients, so not very much money left - and he says, let's have you move out and give them the key, then we'll approach them.
I do what he says, and then call again about payment plans, he says let's give them a couple more weeks to approach us, and then we'll approach them, if they don't first.
Suddenly a week later I get an email from said dud attorney, stating I now have 2 garnishment summons filed against my checking acct AND my employer (who's not my employer, but my client). I lose my sh** but attorney just says to get money out of bank and "don't leave a trail". WHAT THE ACTUAL ?? I paid this guy, too...jfc.
So now I'm sitting here for 2 days reading all sorts of confusing info on whether they can garnish my payments via my client (whom they must think is my employer??), and I've nearly emptied my bank account and will close it come Monday.
I did tell my idiot attorney to NOW reach out to the opposing side and ask to set up a payment plan; however, as they are total dbags and are after me to retaliate for the protective order I filed against them first, I'm sure they'll come back with a plan that I won't be able to afford.
I don't want to be on the run from the "law," when I've done nothing wrong here.
On top of it all, I have to travel to a foreign country with said sick parent for medical treatments and will be leaving this country in a couple of weeks for a few months, so I have everything coming at me from 1200 directions.
1. What are my options, if the opposing side doesn't come up with a reasonable payment plan?
2. How to protect myself from a bank levy - my bank is nearly empty, as I said above, and I'll be closing the account I've had for 15 years because of this But then what?
3. Can they garnish my money from my client, since I'm self-employed?
4. What options do I have to keep my leftover cash SAFE and handy while I'm out of the country and will need money for necessities? (Green dot? Internet banks? Preloaded Visa, and what if it gets stolen??)
FYI, I don't have any dependents, so I can't claim exemptions of that sort.
Any ideas will be appreciated.