Debt collectors subverting law. How to protect yourself

It is illegal for creditors to seize or attach your payments from social security, disability, veterans or children’s’ survivor benefits.  However, if you have the money wired to your bank and deposited automatically, as so many people do, you may be vulnerable to attachment.  If the creditor or debt collector learns of your account, and gets a court-ordered attachment, the bank is duty bound to attach the money even if they know some or all of it is from social security.
Once that is done, you will no longer have access to your money.  It will be held in escrow until the court decides whether or not the creditor gets to keep it.

This can happen before you know it, and it will cause your checks to bounce, setting you up for bank fees and late fees.  It will  put you into trouble with other creditors.  Usually you have to get a lawyer to get the social security money released.  This costs even more money.

Congress is thinking about passing legislation to to prevent this from happening, but until they do, the best thing you can do is take your money the old fashioned way, by check, whenever you are being hounded by debt collectors.  You can cash the check and use it for money orders to pay your bills.  This process can cost you money, but it will prevent any illegal attachments of needed funds.

For a summary of what you can do to deal with your debt, check our article on Debt Relief in our archives

For more on dealing with debt collectors, see  our archive articles Debt Collection (< $1,000 in Unsecured Debt) and Debt Collection (> $1,000 in Unsecured Debt).

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