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Is Social Security income in danger of garnishment?

Banks and creditors are not the only entities who may wish to garnish a debtor's wages if they have owed a lot for a long time. One of the dangers for certain debts is that benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) may be withheld as well as other income.

Who can garnish Social Security income?

It is illegal for banks and other creditors to garnish benefits from the SSA, so no judge in Ohio would allow a garnishment order for one. The federal government may, however, collect up to 15 percent of monthly benefits for specific debts. This may be reduced if benefits would drop below $750 per month after the garnishment.

What kind of debts open benefits up for garnishment?

Debts related to income taxes, child support, alimony or requirements by government agencies may result in benefit garnishment as well as wage garnishment. Student loans guaranteed by or directly owed to the federal government is also fair game for garnishment orders.

Are any benefits always protected from garnishment?

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is always exempt from garnishment. SSI is a type of welfare available to indigent people and comes from taxpayer-funded accounts instead of individual accounts based on work credits.

How can a lawyer help fight garnishment?

Legal garnishment orders in Ohio must always be approved by a court, and defendants always have the right to argue their case. An attorney can represent your interests and investigate any possible reasons to delay or prevent garnishment. A lawyer may also work with creditors to find favorable solutions to debt problems.

Source: Bankrate, "The feds can garnish Social Security to pay your debts," Sonya Stinson, accessed June 15, 2018

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