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Can a creditor sue a non working senior citizen receiving social security and has no other source of income?

San Antonio, TX |

My mom is being sued by a creditor that has taken over a debt from Bank of America. Bank of America increased their interest rate and late fees to the point my parents could not pay it. They called before this became an issue many times but Bank of America lied and said their interest rate would not increase and they would remove late fees. Anyway, she has no income except social security and is married to my father who also recieves social security.
They only have some money saved in the bank to pay for property taxes. What can she do?

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Attorney answers 3


You can be sued. The first thing you need to do if and when you get sued is file an Answer. The summons will tell you that you must “appear” by way of an Answer in 10, 20 or 30 days, “depending on the method of service.”

You need a lawyer, but if you cannot afford one right away, rather then do nothing and have a judgment entered against you, is to “appear” by filing something!

Many people think this means they have to go to Court and this is incorrect. 90% of all lawsuits end in Default Judgments because the defendant (person getting sued) did not file an Answer.

I recommend you go to the free form I have on my website. Print it out and fill it out as instructed. You must answer the numbered paragraphs on the Complaint by writing them into the appropriate lines in the Answer. The Answer will allow you to preserve your rights and will prohibit a default judgment (i.e. you did not show up) from being entered against you.

Mimic the paperwork you got when you got sued. Answer all the paragraphs of the Complaint by writing the numbers in lines 1, 2 or 3.

Almost 100% of attorneys will deny what is owed because they did not do the calculations and do not know what the basis for the number is…

When you file the Answer that is your “not guilty”. You have the right to make the person suing you (Plaintiff) prove their case, but you must also answer the complaint truthfully.

Make sure you fill in the name and address of the attorney suing you before you bring this paperwork to the Court. Mail it to the attorney suing you right away!

Check out the guide I have drafted on the Avvo profile. This will provide more detailed instructions. If it is helpful remember to indicate that and get the guide read!

Good Luck!

Disclaimer: This answer does not constitute legal advice. I am admitted in the States of New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts only and make no attempt to opine on matters of law that are not relevant to those three States. This advice is based on general principles of law that may or may not relate to your specific situation. Facts and laws change and these possible changes will affect the advice provided here. Consult an attorney in your locale before you act on any of this advice. You should not rely on this advice alone and nothing in these communications creates an attorney client relationship. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author only and the fact that he has worked as an Assistant District Attorney; State Supreme Court Clerk; Special Assistant United States Attorney (Hawaii); Assistant Cornell University Counsel or Judge Advocate, United States Marine Corps should not be relied upon to assume that these statements reflect the policy of these organizations.


I do not practice in your state, but go to my web site under garnishment and you will have an idea what the bank can and cannot do.
For a consumer lawyer in your area, go to

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Your parents' Social Security cannot be garnisheed for this type of debt. Federal law, 42 U.S.C. § 407, provides that Social Security benefits are not subject to execution, levy, attachment, garnishment, or other legal process. When Social Security checks are deposited in a bank account, it is important that Social Security money not be commingled with other income or resources; doing this will make it easier to show that this money is protected under federal law from attachment by creditors.