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I am being sued in a summons and complaint by a credit card company and my only source of income is from Social Security.

Saginaw, MI |

I am considering sending the creditor a Letter stating this fact and asking them to stop all attempts to garnish my bank account. Further, under Michigan and federal law, my income cannot be garnished. Do i also need to answer the summons and complaint with the court in order to protect my rights? If so, after answering the items listed in the complaint, do i need to include that Social Security is my only source of income. I have time to mail the Answer to the court, is this an acceptable alternative to hand delivering?

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Attorney answers 4

Best Answer

You should always answer any complaint.
What does your "only source of income"
have to do whether or not you're liable
or not? Nothing. That only matters if
you lose and they want to collect. Pull
any monies out of any accounts because
these guys will tie it up if they cannot take
away from you. Open an account with a
name like "Susan Jones Social Security
Retirement Account." Maybe they'll get
the message. And if the bank allows
funds to be taken out they may be
liable to replace these funds when
you sue them. Good luck!



While you may be "collection-proof," that fact does not prevent the entry of Judgment against you for monies you owe. The problem in these cases is the damage and expense caused when garnishment of a bank account is attempted by a judgment creditor, especially now that direct deposit is required. True, under federal law the bank has an affirmative duty to investigate the source of the funds in your account, but checks bounced in the meantime wreak havoc and generate fees for the bank. For precise advice on handling this situation, consult with a consumer-rights or bankruptcy attorney, or possibly a local legal aid program.

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.


The creditor can attach the bank account even though nothing can be taken out of the account as long as your SS funds are not commingled with any other funds that end up in the account. If the funds get commingled then the money can be taken out to cover the debt. Keep your SS funds separate from anything else and contact a collections attorney ASAP.

"Nothing in this communication is meant to establish an attorney-client relationship. The information is provided for educational purposes only. No action will be taken on your behalf unless you have have hired me and entered into a written retainer agreement. I am only licensed in Tennessee and I suggest contacting an attorney in your specific city and state as soon as possible to avoid any statute of limitations deadlines, if applicable."


As long as the Answer is filed within the 21 days, mailing it is fine. File the answer and contact the attorneys for the credit card and let them know that your sole source of income is Social Security. If you can prove this to them (which should be pretty easy) that may decide it's not worth trying to garnish your bank account. Often, collection attorneys do this hoping to find some non-Social Security funds in the account comingled with the exempt funds. Good luck.