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Can my mothers social security or pension be garnished if she stops paying my sisters student loan?

Shingle Springs, CA |

My mom co-signed on a student loan for my sister for law school. Now that my mom has dementia my sister has stopped paying the loan. I'm not sure what her issue is because she has been employed since she graduated law school 10 years ago. I have power of attorney and have been making the payments for two years now and I am wondering what would happen if I stop paying. My mom really needs her money to pay for her memory care facility. The loan is with a very large bank. I am also wondering what will happen once my mother passes away and this loan is still outstanding? Big mess!

Mom resides in California.

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Attorney answers 3


What we need to know is whether this is a federally insured loan or not. Federal student loans can attach retirement benefits without a court order, while private lenders have to sue. Given your Mom's health, bankruptcy could discharge her obligation to pay these debts. You will need a special order of guardianship for someone to be authorized to file a bankruptcy. Hope this perspective helps!


I concur with Dorothy, to supply even a basic answer, we would need to know whether the loan is a federally guaranteed loan or a purely private loan. The short answer is, YES, if the loan is federally guaranteed, "mostly" NO if the loan is purely private.

Given your mom's circumstances, there are options. I help student loan borrowers, and more than ever now, co-signers resolve their student loan debt. I offer these services nationwide. As for as solving your mom's situation, it would actually be easier to do if the loans were federal (more defined options), but even with private student loans, your mom has options depending on the circumstances.


Generally the answer is yes student loans can be extracted from SS. As the previous attorneys stated there are additional facts that can change the outcome. Speak with an attorney in your area where you can divulge all the facts and they can advise you as to the option available.

Disclaimer Information on this site is provided by attorney Clint Curtis as general information and not specific legal advice. Specific advice can only be provided after a complete analysis of all information related to the asker. No attorney-client relationship is established by the use of the information provided. If you have additional questions please contact the law office.

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