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Sued for credit cards debt but only have social security, am I exempt?

Watseka, IL |

I'm 65 and only income is S.S.,Just minium amout a month. I live with Husband but my name is the only one on cards. He has nothing to do with this debt and hates credit ccards. Can they come after him and what about it when I die?

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Attorney answers 2

Posted

If you have assets, such as a bank account, home, savings, car, etc., the credit card companies could attach any of these items once they obtain a court judgment unless they happen to be protected under the laws of your state.

So what assets are protected under the laws of your state?

I have posted a link to this information for you to review. If an asset isn't on the list, it probably isn't protected.

Hope this perspective helps!

Howard L. Graham

Howard L. Graham

Posted

Use one bank account only for SSA deposits. Keep no other money in that account other than SSA funds. If a creditor other than the federal government tries to garnish your Social Security benefits, inform them that such an action violates Section 207 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 407). Send a written letter with the account # and date notifying your bank(s) that your SSA funds are the only funds in that account and are protected against non federal creditors by 42 USC 407. Keep a copy of the letter. Notify each creditor that the only funds in that account are from exempt SSA funds and that 42 USC exempts those funds from garnishment or attachment. Many states require creditors to sign an affidavit that there are no exempt funds in that account that they are garnishing. Keep copies of each letter. In addition check your state's Homestead and personal property exemptions. Some state require a statement by the debtor to be filed with the county that elects the exemption. Other states provide a "self-executing" exemption that protects the debtor automatically.

Posted

They can and will come after both of you if you reside in a community property state. Sounds like most, if not all, of your assets are exempt from enforcement activities - it does not mean it will not be a pain and require some court filings, though, to prevail and keep everything away from judgment creditors (no one can seize any assets until a judgment is entered against you).

Disclaimer of California Attorney
Although the above response is believed to be accurate, it should not be relied upon as any type of legal advice because the information provided is incomplete. It is intended to educate the reader and a more definite answer should be based on a consultation with a lawyer. No attorney client relation is formed with me without a written contract.

Joshua P. Friedman
jfriedman@jpfassociates.com
www.losangelescollector.com

Disclaimer of California Attorney Although the above response is believed to be accurate, it should not be relied upon as any type of legal advice because the information provided is incomplete. It is intended to educate the reader and a more definite answer should be based on a consultation with a lawyer. No attorney client relation is formed with me without a written contract. Joshua P. Friedman jfriedman@jpfassociates.com www.losangelescollector.com

Howard L. Graham

Howard L. Graham

Posted

Use one bank account only for SSA deposits. Keep no other money in that account other than SSA funds. If a creditor other than the federal government tries to garnish your Social Security benefits, inform them that such an action violates Section 207 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 407). Send a written letter with the account # and date notifying your bank(s) that your SSA funds are the only funds in that account and are protected against non federal creditors by 42 USC 407. Keep a copy of the letter. Notify each creditor that the only funds in that account are from exempt SSA funds and that 42 USC exempts those funds from garnishment or attachment. Many states require creditors to sign an affidavit that there are no exempt funds in that account that they are garnishing. Keep copies of each letter. In addition check your state's Homestead and personal property exemptions. Some state require a statement by the debtor to be filed with the county that elects the exemption. Other states provide a "self-executing" exemption that protects the debtor automatically. There are a number of circumstances in which the Federal government can garnish Social Security benefits. They include: •To enforce child support or alimony obligations under Section 459 of the Social Security Act; •Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can levy against benefits to collect unpaid Federal taxes according to Section 6334(c) of the Internal Revenue Code; •IRS can collect taxes due by levying up to 15 percent of a monthly benefit until the debt is paid; •IRS allows beneficiaries to have a portion of their check withheld to satisfy a current year Federal income tax liability according to Section 3402 (P) of the Internal Revenue Code; •Other Federal agencies can collect money from benefits to pay a non-tax debt owed to that agency according to the Debt Collection Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-134); and •Under the Mandatory Victim Restitution Act, certain civil penalties provide the right to garnish benefits under 18 USC 3613.

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