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Will My Mom Get Her Social Security Garnished for Credit Card Debt? – Mary

Written by Consumer

My mom is 88 years old and living on social security. She is struggling to pay her credit cards, can they garnish her check if she stops paying on them?


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  • Mary,

    The simple answer is, no, unsecured, non-government creditors cannot garnish Social Security income for repayment. Of course they will try and banks have a mixed record at protecting their customers from these events.

    Creditors will claim that some money must be from other sources and the bank may cooperate with creditor by tying up your mother’s money until she can prove it is just from Social Security.

    I suggest a very direct approach. Inform the creditors and the bank in writing that your mother has no income other than Social Security, that she has no ability to pay off the debt and wishes no further collection contact. Then talk with her bank and make a personal banker aware of the situation and your understanding of the law.

    Good Luck!

  • I am on ssdi (social security) and I too am trying to figure out if I have to pay 15,000 in credit card debt. I do not own a house. My car is 98 Mazda Protege. My husband is the payee on my ssdi because I have gone into debt like this 3 times. I don’t have the answer to your question, but I can relate. Good luck

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