Can a debtor garnish my Social Security income?

I’m 66 years old, retired after I lost my last job. Being on Social Security there’s no way I can pay my debtors in the near future.
I have a small savings account and live in Section 8 housing. I get food stamps and a small SSI stipend. Also, I have no assets, not even a car, and nothing to liquidate to pay these folks.
If they garnish my SS I’ll be homeless in a month.
So, can they take away my Social Security income?

your creditors . . . can your creditors. Check your state exemption laws and consider talking to a personal bankruptcy attorney.

this is not legal advice

Generally, no. With the exception of certain government agencies, creditors cannot garnish social security income. If your SSI is paid by direct deposit into a bank account, you can have those funds declared as exempt funds by notifying your bank, which cannot be garnished except to pay Federal debts (and child support in some cases.) Call your bank to find out how to notify them of the existence of exempt funds.

Whole Bean :smack: yes, I meant creditors.
Q.E.D. Thanks for the link. I have no Government debts.
You made an old geezer feel a lot better today! :slight_smile:

Answer: No.

Chapter Seven might be an option for you. Consult a specialized Bankruptcy attorney.

Don’t see much point in that, with no assets to protect.

Call these folks . With your age and the benefits that you get, you’re probably qualified for their services.

Unrelated to SSI or exempt funds is the question of who’s bugging you for money?

If it’s a collection agency for something like a credit card or phone bill, chances are good to excellent that you can legally tell them to pound sand and that you’ll only respond to the original creditor. Probably 99% of the time, the matter will be entirely dropped - the original creditor has most likely already sold your account to the collector, written off the difference, closed out your file and moved on. The charge-off will still be there on your credit report, but as you’re living on SSI and food stamps, it’s rather unlikely to have any real impact on your life.

If the debts are still owned by the original creditors, you can probably write to them, explain that you’re retired, living on Section 8, SSI and food stamps, have no assets and no means to pay them. With any luck, they’ll charge off the account and wish you a happy retirement. I’d be willing to bet that the legal aid folks linked above will have form letters for just this scenario.

Got a cite for that?

Well, getting rid of the debts, including daily harrassment by credit agencies? And, it is often better for your credit report- as opposed to simply not paying the debat at all.