BOLLARD & ASSOCIATES, INC. Appellant
H & R INDUSTRIES, INC. AND HARRY SCHMIDT AND WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A.
from the Order May 23, 2016 In the Court of Common Pleas of
Bucks County Civil Division at No(s): No. 2016-01222
BEFORE: OTT, J., RANSOM, J., and FITZGERALD, J.
Bollard & Associates, Inc., appeals from the May 23,
2016, order determining that $188, 536.31 in a Wells Fargo
Bank account was exempt from garnishment. We reverse and
remand for further proceedings in accordance with this
adopt the following statement of facts from the trial
court's opinion, which in turn is supported by the
record. See Trial Court Opinion, 8/2/16, at 1-5. In
February 2016 judgment was entered in favor of Appellant and
against H&R Industries, Inc. and Harry Schmidt
("Appellee") in the amount of $405, 984.07 plus
interest at 6% per annum. Appellant commenced execution on
the judgment and served interrogatories in aid of execution
against Appellee and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. ("Wells
Fargo"), as garnishee. In response, Wells Fargo filed an
answer and new matter, averring that Gary Schmidt,
Appellee's son ("Mr. Schmidt"), held a joint
bank account with Appellee. Accordingly, Wells Fargo could
not release the attached assets without appropriate order of
Schmidt and Appellee filed a claim for exemption, seeking a
statutory exemption of $300.00 and for social security
payments totaling $2, 103.00. Mr. Schmidt also sought an
exception for other money held in a joint bank account with
Appellee, namely, proceeds from the sale of a home. Prior to
the hearing on the claim, the parties agreed that Appellee
and Mr. Schmidt were entitled to a $300.00 statutory
exception and the first $10, 000.00 of a direct deposit of
social security benefits.
2016, the trial court held an evidentiary hearing. Mr.
Schmidt testified that prior to 2013, he resided at 2032 Arch
Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The residence was
titled jointly in Mr. Schmidt's and Appellees' names,
but Mr. Schmidt averred that the home was his and titled
jointly solely for estate planning purposes. Mr. Schmidt paid
taxes, insurance, and utility bills for the property. In
2013, Mr. Schmidt moved in with Appellee to a different
2015, Mr. Schmidt sold the Arch Street home for net proceeds
of $385, 073.36; he placed the proceeds into a joint bank
account held with Appellee at Wells Fargo. Mr. Schmidt made
withdrawals totaling $196, 537.15 from the account over the
course of approximately ten months. Mr. Schmidt also
acknowledged that he and Appellee each received an IRS form
1099 for the proceeds of the sale, reflecting a 50% share of
the gross proceeds. However, the 1099 form for Mr. Schmidt
was not entered into evidence at the conclusion of the
the hearing, the trial court entered an order finding that
$188, 536.31 held in the joint Wells Fargo Account was exempt
from judgment. This amount represented the balance remaining
from the net proceeds of the sale of the property.
filed a motion for reconsideration, arguing that 1099 forms
provided by Appellee and signed by Mr. Schmidt were evidence
that the property was jointly owned, as Mr. Schmidt and
Appellee each received a 50% share of the gross proceeds.
See Motion for Reconsideration, 5/23/16, Exhibit C.
Appellant also argued that Mr. Schmidt had acknowledged in
writing that the proceeds were intended to be distributed
jointly. The court denied the motion.
timely appealed and filed a court-ordered Pa.R.A.P. 1925(b)
statement of errors complained of on appeal. The trial court
issued a responsive opinion.
Herein, Appellant raises two questions for our review:
A. Did the trial court improperly deny [Appellant's]
[motion] to reconsider based on the prior representation that
Gary Schmidt was seeking an exemption of one-half of the
B. Was the trial court finding of exemption contrary to and
against the weight and ...