Can Social Security and retirement income be garnished?             Click here to Print

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#hbchiefs - Says,

i can't pay my credit card bills, what can they do to me? They sent me a letter saying if I dont pay they will get a judgment and do so. I thought that retirement income source and Social Security income couldnt be garnished? Can a credit card company garnish my wages?
#carol - Says,

No, the credit card company cannot garnish your Social Security income for repayment of your debts. Garnishment of retirement pay and Social Security income are not allowed under Federal Law. However, SS income can be garnished under certain circumstances. The SS benefits can be garnished if you have an outstanding federal tax or alimony and child support obligations. However, the creditor can bring judgment to garnish your bank account to recover the outstanding debt amount.
#Justin - Says,

Since you have got the collection letter, the first step is to send a debt validation letter by certified mail. If they cannot validate the debt, you need not worry since even if the creditor sue you to the court they cannot bring judgment against you . However, if they can validate the debt and if you have the ability to repay the debt, come to a settlement plan, negotiate for a discount on the outstanding debt and repay it off. This is because even if they cannot garnish your Social Security and retirement income, the credit card judgment can damage your credit score.
#s_14 - Says,

i can't pay my credit card bills, what can they do to me? Is garnishment of Social Security and retirement income possible? They can attach my bank account even if my income is only from SS and retirement income sources? Thats what goes into my bank every month.
#fireyone - Says,

If the only money going into your account is from Social Security income then they can not attach that account. You will need to make them aware of this and maybe they will not proceed. Now they can not attach your account at all until it goes in front of a judge and the judge would issue a garnishment. Legally he will not be able to do this if you can show these are Social Security income. Hope this helps.
#carol - Says,

Yes, the creditor can attach your bank account to recover the outstanding debt. But since the Social Security income cannot be garnished, you should inform the bank in writing that the money that gets credited into your account is the Social Security income and so it is protected from garnishment. You can also inform the court that your only source of income is the Social Security and retirement income. Garnishment of retirement pay and SS benefits cannot take place.
#goodnatured - Says,

Carol is right and they will attach it, they don't care where the funds come from. You should alert your bank to the possible attachment and let them know that the only funds going into the account is your Social Security income. They may be able to keep an eye on things and let you know if anyone attempts to attach it.
#fireyone - Says,

Doesn't the judge who issues the bank account garnishment set up an amount that can be legally garnished per month? If not how could people pay their bills without worrying that the checks would bounce? Yes a person could do money orders but I can not see a judge letting a company garnish everythign in a bank account.
What happens if the bank account is in the spouses name too?..This meaning both spouses are on the account but yet one is only leagally responsible for the debt? Okay now what if the spouse whom is legally responsible for the debt does not contribute to that account?

#Smiling Cobra - Says,

I have retired from the U.S. Civil Service (Not Military). I find that I do not have enough income to continue to pay my credit card debt. Will the federal government allow credit card companies to garnish source of retirement income? Is garnishment of civil service pension permitted?

Alimony and child support are not an issue, so you don't need to tell me about that.

#Christine12 - Says,

I take care of my parents and they are broke from medical costs, we have been unable to pay there credit cards can the credit card companies garnish Social Security income and my dads pension? We are in the state of Oregon
#carol - Says,

Hi Smiling & Christine

Social Security and retirement income can never be garnished in any state in US to repay a credit cards debt. However, if you have any outstanding Federal tax debts, garnishment of retirement pay is possible, and for that there is no need for the Federal Government to bring judgment against you. Garnishment of civil service pension is not allowed by the Federal Government.

#Misty - Says,

I recently received a judgment against me from a credit card. Now, I received a garnishment notice. I do not work, and I don't own anything other than a van, the value of which is only $600. I do not have a checking account, but my husband does. What can they do as far as the garnishment? Can they take it from my husbands pay? We only make about 1500 a month, 3 kids, he's the head. I don't mind making payments to the company, but right now all we can really afford is about $20 a month. Do I call them? The court? Can anyone point me in the right direction? I live in Missouri.
#carol - Says,

Hi Misty
If it is a wage garnishment order, then since you are not working anywhere they cannot garnish your wage. However, if the judgment is for garnishment of your bank account, they cannot do so because you do not have a checking account. Now, since the judgment has been brought against you, they cannot garnish your husband's income or his bank account.

#Bill12 - Says,

I read that credit card companies cannot garnish source of retirement income. But what about vehicle reposession? I cannot make payments on my motorhome any longer. If they reposess it, they will sell it at auction and I'm responsible for the deficit. Can these circumstances allow garnishment of Social Security and retirement income?
#Justin - Says,

Social Security and retirement income can never be garnished to recover credit card debt or car debt. It can only be garnished to recover the outstanding Federal Tax debt and alimony and child support obligations. So, you need not to worry about garnishment of retirement income source and Social Security income.
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