Credit Card Debt

by Jake
(Battle Creek , Michigan)

Between cancer and two heart attacks (4 years ago), I live on strictly S/S , one from Canada and one U.S.A. I am 70 years of age. They both total less than $ 1000.00 a month ... and yes i had to use the credit card to exist. I have no health insurance. The V.A. takes care of me. One credit card company wants to take me to court. How do i protect my social security money??

Comments for Credit Card Debt

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Dec 26, 2009
Protecting social security income from credit card issuers
by: Gerri

I can only imagine how stressful this must be for you. However, you should be relieved to know that creditor or collection agencies typically can't go after Social Security income is generally protected from creditors. That means that even if they took you to court and they successfully sued you, they shouldn't generally be able to go after your Social Security payments to collect the debt.

Usually if you explain to the creditor that you have no income or assets they can go after, they don't waste their time - or money - with a lawsuit. I don't know what has transpired so far, but I assume you told them you don't have any other income and they are moving forward anyway with their lawsuit. (I don't know whether different rules apply to retirement income received from Canada, however.)

So I'd like to suggest two things, both of which are free:

1. You can talk with a consumer law attorney with experience in debt collection cases. Learn how to get low cost or FREE legal help with your debt collection problem here. A consumer law attorney can help you understand if the collection agency has broken the law in attempting to collect from you. If, for example, you let them know that your only income is Social Security, and the collector told you they would take it to get paid, that collector may have violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

2. If you have other assets (such as home equity, or investments not held in retirement accounts) you are worried about losing if you are sued, it's also a good idea to talk with a bankruptcy attorney in your area. Many people think that bankruptcy attorneys only help you file for bankruptcy, but they can also help you understand what property is safe from creditors, based on your state's laws. The first consultation should be free.

Whatever you do, if you have been notified that you are to show up in court about this debt, find a way to get there or call the Court for instructions if you are unable to do so. If you do not show up, the creditor will get a default judgment against you, and that may create additional problems.

Please keep in mind, we are not attorneys so we can't give you legal advice.

Let us know what happens, OK?

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