Can the creditor garnish my social security/pension benefits?
The short answer to this question is: it depends. There are a lot of different scenarios in how debt is handled. The questions surrounding debt are usually: What type of debt? Who is owed? How Much? For what?
When it comes to garnishment of social security or pension benefits, the type of debt is the most significant factor in regards to how creditors are legally allowed to proceed.
Type of Debt
Credit Card debt, Car/Boat Payment, Home Mortgage: In most circumstances, a max of up to two months worth of your full social security or pension benefits are to be untouched and completely off-limits despite any financial wrongdoings you may be involved in. This means, that at least a portion of your social security income cannot be garnished by creditors such as credit card companies, car or boat dealerships, mortgage lenders, etc.
Unpaid Taxes: The government can legally garnish up to 15% of your social security or pension benefits, regardless of the amount to make up for back taxes. There is no minimum limit on the amount of money the remaining 85% of your social security income amounts to.
Federal Student Loans: Individual government agencies are legally entitled to the same 15% of your pension and social security benefits as long as it leaves you a minimum of $750 remaining.
Child Support, Alimony Payments: The court can rule that as much as 65% of your social security/pension income be garnished based on the number of spouses/children, owed support and the duration of the missed payments.
Experiencing overwhelming debt? An experienced Bankruptcy and Debt Settlement Attorney is vital in making sure that your rights are protected during this crucial time. Contact our office to discuss your specific situation in detail and how we can help. Set up a consultation by calling (702) 998-1188, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by scheduling a consultation online.