MI debt collection law, can Social Security be garnished?

Asked almost 5 years ago - Battle Creek, MI

My Dad has an old CC debt from 1996. He previously paid on it, had health problems & stopped paying. Now it's been transferred to a new collector (Mann/Bracken) they have told him it's back to the original amt. (5000) (it was around 1500) since he stopped paying. I am his POA, any suggestions on what his options are? They've threatened him with going to court (or jail), they also had a judgement to take his federal tax refund for '08 (which they did, it was 100.00) He's scared they'll garnish his Soc. Sec. or take the money from his bank account since he had given them the number in the past (the previous collectors). Should I ignore them or continue to let them take his tax return as payment? How do I get copies of the court judgement? Can they sue his estate after he dies?

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Robert D. Mouradian

    Contributor Level 11

    Answered . Hello:

    I have been practicing collections law in the State of Michigan for over 30 years. We often defend individuals who are being sued for credit card debts and creditors who are collecting debts. I recently researched this question for another client.

    Social Security benefits can be protected from creditors under Federal law. In order to avoid garnishment of the same the Social Security proceeds should be deposited into a separate account. This account should be used for Social Security payments only and for no other purpose. No other moneys should be deposited into this account.

    Should the account be garnished an objection to the garnishment should be filed. I would suggest retaining an attorney if this happens.

    Please note that Social Security benefits are treated differently than most other benefits. For instance, with some exceptions for spousal support and child support, most employment benefits under ERISA, such as pensions ets., cannot be garnished . However, once they are deposited into an account they can be garnished. Social Security is different and is afforded more protection from creditors.

    I hope this helps. If you would like to discuss the matter further please feel free to contact me for a free phone conference which is offered to all callers.

    You can access my contact information by clicking on my name below.

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.

 

Ask now

27,416 answers this week

2,850 attorneys answering

Ask a Lawyer

Get answers from top-rated lawyers.

  • It's FREE
  • It's easy
  • It's anonymous

27,416 answers this week

2,850 attorneys answering