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Roger, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 30904
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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My sister, 67 years old, is being sued by HSBC NV represented

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My sister, 67 years old, is being sued by HSBC NV represented by Hull & Associates Houston. The total at the moment, she owes about $4200, including court fees. We plan to fax a letter stating she has no way of paying this debt. She has multiple sclerosis and is retired with social security as her only income. She lives in Austin, Tx.
Can her Soc Sec be garnisheed?
Also, is it worth getting an attorney since she has no assets?

Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Business litigation attorney.

No, your sister's social security benefits CANNOT be garnished under Section 207 of the Social Security Act for a credit card debt (and most other debts). Here's a link to the SSA's website that outlines this:

If your sister has no assets and no income (other than SSA payments), then she is basically considered judgment proof - which means that a creditor cannot collect from her. In this case, it is not really necessary to hire an attorney if she cannot pay the debt and if she cannot contest the validity of the debt.

An attorney cannot stop the creditor from suing and taking a judgment, but if the judgment is not collectible, then it really makes no difference for your sister.

That said, I would encourage your sister to make sure she has no other assets, because if the creditor takes a judgment, it can seize property to satisfy the debt. If she owns anything of value, then I would recommend that she consult an attorney about trying to negotiate a settlement OR to file bankruptcy to have the debt discharged.

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