As we have often seen in San Antonio, people of all ages run into financial difficulties at times in their lives. Unfortunately, for some people, their senior years can be marred by not only financial problems but also setbacks in their health.
As you undoubtedly know, medical bills are one of the leading causes of bankruptcy. Seniors can be understandably concerned when the face financial difficulties and health problems at the same time, wondering if a bill collector will somehow get his hands on their sorely needed Social Security income.
A report from Credit.com states that though creditors can’t take Social Security retirement funds from a person, the government can. The government can garnish retirement funds for such things as overdue taxes, unpaid student loans, child support and overpayments by government agencies.
The same situation exists for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. While a debt collector from an insurance company, doctor, department store or credit card company might want to garnish those SSDI funds, they cannot do so, according to the article. But once again, the government can do it for the reasons outlined above.
But even the government cannot seize Social Security Income (SSI) funds. Those are designated for people without financial resources and who are disabled or elderly.
However, it should be noted that for people receiving any Social Security benefits, it is a good idea not to mingle those funds with other funds in your bank. “It is easier to prevent an improper, illegal seizure than to get the money back,” an attorney quoted in the article said.
For those people facing the possibility of bankruptcy, a conversation with an experienced attorney can make legal options and protections clear.
Source: Credit.com, “Can a Debt Collector Come After My Social Security?” Gerri Detweiler, May 23, 2014