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Can a debt creditor garnish my Social Security? They have called me and threatened to do so through a garnishment/judge.

Daytona Beach, FL |

I have a widow's pension plus I have Social Security Disability, a small amount..can they freeze my bank account when I have no other monies but my Social Security.

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

Don't let a debt collector lie to you. If you keep your Social Security funds separate from other funds, you should be fine. 42 USC 407 makes Social Security payments exempt from collections. There are small exceptions for unpaid taxes, child support, and certain student loans, but otherwise, the answer is "No".

Next time the phone rings, don't answer it. Good luck.

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Posted

You are ok as long as you don't mix other money with that pool of ss.

I think you should at least talk to a bk attorney. Maybe a bk is the right thing for you.

The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advise" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here. Please visit my web site: www.avanesianlaw.com for more information about my services.

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Posted

Your Social Security and pension are exempt from execution. However, a creditor can still attempt to garnish a bank account in which you have deposited these funds. AS part of that process the account will be frozen. Under present federal regulations, a bank is required to promptly determine whether the funds in the account consist solely of Social Security benefits. Pension funds can be claimed exempt under state law procedures The problem with these procedures is that checks can be dishonored and large bank fees incurred for returned checks while accounts are frozen. A debt collector who threatens to take legal action not actually allowed by law has violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and may entitle you to an award of damages. To know for sure, a consultation with a consumer-rights attorney will meet your needs.

Best wishes for a favorable outcome, and please remember to designate a best answer.

This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.

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Posted

If your social security is received by direct deposits into your bank account, there are special protections. The bank has to make sure that an amount equal to the last 60 days of the direct deposits remains accessible to you. For this protection, it does not matter if you have deposited other funds into the account. The only exceptions are for child support debts and federal taxes, and the protection does not extend to other accounts--only the account that received the direct deposits.

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