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LegalGems
LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
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I am currently recieving SS my age is 71. a collection

Customer Question

i am currently recieving SS my age is 71 . a collection agency is taking me to court to collect 5ooo dollars my only source of income is socisl sectury . i have sent them a letter of exemption and 2 mo.of bank statements now the collection agency denied may claim . i have a hearing Feb 2 2016 what shouid i do?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  LegalGems replied 10 months ago.

I am sorry to hear this.

Social Security Income (SSI) is exempt to a certain degree.

The relevant statute is here: https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/31/part-212

So say one receives $1,000 in benefits per month, then 2months are protected under federal law, thereby safeguarding $2,000. The bank can freeze any direct deposits over that amount that remains in one's bank account. The court will hold a hearing to determine if the freeze is valid.

Programs like Social Security (Retirement, Survivor or Disability Insurance) and Veterans Benefits are also exempt from garnishment. This money is automatically protected when you have less than 2 months’ of benefits in your account. If you have more than 2 months, the extra can be frozen – it is still exempt but you have to claim the exemption to get it unfrozen. If you are not sure if your benefits are exempt talk to a lawyer or call your local legal services office.

http://www.lawhelpmn.org/files/1765CC5E-1EC9-4FC4-65EC-957272D8A04E/attachments/B74C73B7-9B0E-42A0-B5A7-9C5364A99AED/c-04-garnishment-and-your-rights.pdf

So it will come down to whether there is more than 2 months worth of benefits in the account.

The relevant statutes are listed below:

https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=571.72

https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=550.37#stat.550.37.4a

http://www.consumerfinance.gov/askcfpb/1157/can-creditor-garnish-my-social-security-benefits-pay-debt.html

http://www.ag.state.mn.us/consumer/publications/Garnishment.asp

There are senior legal clinics that will review legal documents at no charge. Please see:

http://www.mnlegalservices.org/

I would urge you to have them review the account statement and the garnishment to determine if the creditor may access these funds, and to help prepare a presentation for the hearing.

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Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I will rate after my court hearing
Expert:  LegalGems replied 10 months ago.

Thank you kindly.

I hope the hearing went well.

Take care!

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