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I'm so sorry to hear about your situation.
The attorney really has no recourse on your son.
They cannot garnish his social security check.
If he owns no assets, there is nothing to seize. The cash in his bank account comes from social security so they can't take that, either
They can take him to court and get a judgment against him, but that's about it. There's nothing to collect from.
I'm sorry about your troubles. It all depends on how aggressive that the attorney is. They should realize that there is no way they are going to collect their fee from this individual, and just drop it instead of investing MORE in this through court costs and time spent going to court. However, it is their right to take him to court. I realize that would be unsettling, and I hope that it doesn't come down to that.Have you thought of working out a payment plan? Perhaps $20 a month or so until the balance is paid in full? However, you could explain this to the attorney and leave it up to them whether or not they pursue. They *should* realize that he cannot pay and that they do not have recourse and simply write off the debt. Thanks!
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The attorney is not being honest with your son as the fee owing is between your son and the attorney. Likewise, the SS cannot be ordered to withhold the money from your sons's check. Likewise, the attorney would have to sue your son. But even if he gets a judgment, your son is judgment proof and his SS check that he receives his exempt form attachment.
When the SSA or a Federal court authorizes a representative's fee based on an approved fee agreement or a fee petition, SSA will withhold up to 25 percent of the claimant's title II and/or title XVI past-due benefits for payment of all or part of the authorized fee, if the following criteria are met:
1. Submitting, one time, a completed Form SSA-1699, Registration of Individuals and Staff for Appointed Representative Services. 2. Submitting, in connection with the specific claim(s), a completed Form SSA-1695, Identifying Information for Possible Direct Payment of Authorized Fees.
1. Submitting, one time, a completed Form SSA-1699, Registration of Individuals and Staff for Appointed Representative Services.
When SSA makes direct fee payment, the law requires SSA to charge an assessment to cover administrative costs. SSA deducts this service charge from the amount payable to the representative. The representative cannot charge or collect this expense from the claimant.
Beginning with direct payments SSA makes to representatives on or after September 1, 2004, the service charge is capped at the lower of either a flat rate dollar amount or 6.3 percent of the amount of the fee payable from past-due benefits. The flat rate dollar amount cap is adjusted periodically based on the cost of living. For direct payments made to representatives on or after December 1, 2012, the service charge is capped at a flat rate dollar amount of $88.
Thus, I am sorry to state that since your son agreed to representation with this attorney, if SSA deems the fee to fit the above criteria I am afraid they will deduct it to pay the attorney in accordance with the SSA rules.
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