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Bill F.
Bill F., Paralegal
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 2243
Experience:  State Paralegal - 10 Years Hands on Legal Experience
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How do I write a hardship letter if I cannot pay for a ...

Resolved Question:

How do I write a hardship letter if I cannot pay for a collection, because my only source of income is SSI?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Bill F. replied 8 years ago.

Just that. You send a certified letter telling the collection agency that your only income is SSI n(you don;t have to disclose what amount that is) and that under Federal Collection Laws, payments of government benefits are not subject to attachment and therefor you request they cease in their collection procedures and harrassment and consider writing off the debt since you will be unable to pay this debt now or in the future due to your disability and limited government paid income. Also inform them in the letter that under Federal Law you request that here forward all communications be in writing and that they are not to contact you via your telephone or the number of any other person you know whose number they may have in their files.

If they continue to harass you after you send this letter then file a complaint with the State Department of Finance where you live (they regulate collection agencies in your state and also with the Federal Trade Commission and tell both agency that this collection agency is violating your rights and harassing you to pay your debt off your government supplementary security income (and they will investigate the company and intervene


on your behalf).


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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I appreciate that answer however the letter they sent me was an arbitration letter which I beleive they are trying to get a judgment on me in baltimore maryland. That's where the collection agency is located. The letter was sent by there attorney! Do I still just send the letter the way you said?
Expert:  Bill F. replied 8 years ago.

Yes. It doesn't matter what they are trying to get you to sign (don't sign anything) they can not by law force you to pay them using your government benefits. Now that does not prevent them from getting a judgment against you for the amount that you owe them but a judgment is only as good as them being able to collect on it and they can not collect from your SSI or take any money from the checking or saving accounts where your SSI is deposited. All they can do (if you even own a house) is put a lein on the house and they can not do much with that if the house already has a mortgage on it. Send your own letter noting the points I mentioned and if they send you anything else after that let us know, but the most important thing you need to know is by law you do not have to use your government benefits to pay them (so don't sign anything that would cause you to give up your rights).


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