Disabled Pa renter whose only income is SSI being sued by debt collection agency

by Joan
(Lemoyne, Pa. USA)


I am a PENNSYLVANIA resident who is being sued by a debt collector(Portfolio Recovery) for amount of $22,000.
The Sheriffs have knocked on my door but I have not answered.
I am disabled; my ONLY INCOME is Supplimental Security Income(SSI).
I am a renter who does NOT OWN a HOUSE or a VEHICLE.

Q: In court, when they win, what can they take from me?

(1)Can they GARNISH or put a FREEZE on my checking account(it only has money from my monthly $720.10 direct deposit from SSI. My bank is Sovereign Bank now owned by The Santander Group)

(2)Can they Sherrif sale my other belongs, such as Furniture, Cookware, Televisons, Clothing or Jewelry, etc?

(3 My roomate will be receiving alot of money sometime very soon but I am not allowed to disclose this due to the very high powered Government party who is paying him.

*I will absolutely(100% SURE) be paying all of my debt
when he receives this money, which is a definite..
HOWEVER, I can NOT disclose this information to the Party who is suing OR to the Judge at hearing.

Thank you for your help. I am sick and the stress of not knowing what can happen is making me even more weak and sick.
Many thanks to you ..I await your reply

Comments for Disabled Pa renter whose only income is SSI being sued by debt collection agency

Click here to add your own comments

Aug 13, 2012
Disabled Pa renter whose only income is SSI being sued by debt collection agency
by: debtCollection Answers.com


I am so sorry to know that you are stressed out by your situation although I understand how frightening it can be to owe money and not know what what will happen next.

First, you should know that a collector or creditor cannot take your SSI income. That income is exempt from collection. This is true even if you are sued and lose the lawsuit.

Also, much if not all of the property you describe in your question would also be exempt from collection according to the law of your state. That means that no one can take those assets from you. In addition, even if any of that property was not exempt, it's unlikely that the collector or creditor that sued you would go after it because the cost of trying to take those things from you would probably be more that what your furniture, cookware, televisons, clothing and jewelry is worth.

Bottom line, from what you tell me, it sounds like you are judgment proof. In other words, even if you lose in court, there is nothing for the collector or creditor to take.

I recommend therefore that before your roommate pays any money on your debts or you do anything else that you contact a consumer law attorney in your area who helps people resolve their debt collection problems to find out what you should do about the lawsuit. Do this right away because ignoring the lawsuit or not showing up in court is likely to complicate matters for you although it will not change the fact that your SSI income cannot be taken and that all of your other assets may also be exempt from collection. An initial appointment with a consumer law attorney should be free. The attorney will advise you about what you should do regarding the lawsuit but if the court and the company has sued you knows that you are judgment proof, it's likely that the lawsuit against you will be dropped. The attorney will tell you how best to make this fact known to the court.

So please get the information you need from an attorney immediately and put your mind at rest. Once you do you will sleep better at night.

Mar 06, 2014
Being sued for fraudulent account
by: Anonymous

I am an SSI recipient who is being sued for a "fraudulent checking account." The account in question is not fraudulent! It was a checking account I've had for years,& was allowed only a certain amount of transfers and withdrawals a month. This particular month exceeded my withdrawal and transfers for the month when the scheduled payment was to be withdrawn. Therefore my account was closed and of course the funds being withdrawn wasn't available. I later received an email stating that they(online financial institution) wasn't able to withdraw funds because of a closed account.

I also received calls from the collection agency demanding full payment. I agreed that I owed the money and that it was a hardship withdrawal but I wasn't able to pay it all and needed a payment plan. I was told that a payment plan was unacceptable and that I needed to pay ASAP.

Now I've received a call saying that an affidavit has been placed against me and that I would have to appear in court if I don't agree to the settlement given,or pay the lump sum. I am nervous because I've never been through anything like this please help!

Reply from DebtCollectionAnswers.com:

It sounds like it could be a scam but you need to make sure it's not. We'd really encourage you to talk with a consumer law attorney to learn your rights. You can find out how to get free or low-cost legal advice about debt collection here.

Dec 18, 2014
Taking SSI Clients to court Illegal
by: Andrew Stergiou

Lets face it that most lawyers often have to work and have no time to experiment with lawsuits as the law in question states:

"Sec. 207. [42 U.S.C. 407] (a) The right of any person to any future payment under this title shall not be transferable or assignable, at law or in equity, and none of the moneys paid or payable or rights existing under this title shall be subject to execution, levy, attachment, garnishment, or other legal process, or to the operation of any bankruptcy or insolvency law.
(b) No other provision of law, enacted before, on, or after the date of the enactment of this section[94], may be construed to limit, supersede, or otherwise modify the provisions of this section except to the extent that it does so by express reference to this section."

Which clearly prohibits not only the collection of debts by law but also prohibits lawsuits from being brought before the court which is an issue I want clarified.

Aug 04, 2015
a civil complaint against me
by: Anonymous

I have a civil complaint against me and a hearing coming up. Should I go? And if I go should I take a attorney with me?

I'm on ssi and live with my sister. I have a car but it old and have lots of miles can they take it from me and how will they know I get ssi?

Reply from DebtCollectionAnswers.com:

If you don't go they will definitely get a judgment against you and that gives them additional ways to collect. However, your SSDI should be safe and it' also unlikely they can go after your car. (Read:
Can a debt collector repossess my car?

It sounds like you should be eligible for help from Legal Aid. If possible, I would recommend you contact them to see if they can help you with a defense against the debt collection lawsuit. Oftentimes these collection agencies can't prove that you owe the debt.

Aug 04, 2015
Being Sued by Attorneys and I'm on SSI disability
by: Anonymous

I am on SSI Disability since 2007. I suffered an unexpected double stroke and could not return to work due to "left side" weakness. I had a ton of credit: a house, student loans, self-employed business loans and credit cards and a car loan with a balance less than $4,000. It's been 7-1/2 years and unfortunately I lost everything except the car. House foreclosed, Government satisfied my student loans but I still have the 2000 Nissan car loan. I have no assets anymore but the attorneys (collection agency) for the car filed a lawsuit against me before the four year time period they were allowed too in California. I now owe with interest $9,000+. They know I'm on SSI disability and they sent me papers changing from a Civil trial to a "Short Cause Trial" now scheduled for 9/25/2015. What's the purpose if I'm Judgement Proof with nothing now? What can they get from me? What should I do?

Reply from DebtCollectionAnswers.com:

What's the point indeed? It doesn't sound like there is much they will be able to do to collect even if they are successful. Are you still able to get in touch with your bankruptcy attorney? If so you may want to run this by him or her just to make sure we're not missing something. (We're not attorneys so we can't offer legal advice.)

Sep 17, 2015
can i change from chapter 13 to 7 with money already paid on chapter 13
by: k.wallace

I had filed chapter thy were taking 100 out of work check every 2wks ,I stop working due to foot surgery. weren't able to work for 5 months still off from work now,and I'm not sure when I'll be able.bankruptcy sent court papers stating the balance I've paid towards bankruptcy was 3,500 but I owe 700 due to non payments for 5 months non payment due to hardship,can chapter 13 be transferred to chapter7 with the money I gave already towards 13 and why do I have to go to court?

Reply from DebtCollectionAnswers.com

Are you working with a bankruptcy attorney (we hope!?) If so these questions should be directed to your attorney. If you qualify for your Chapter 7, most or all of your debts may be discharged so you may not have to "apply" the money you paid toward Chapter 7 because you may not have to pay back those debts. Again, please talk with your attorney.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

Learn how debt collection laws can help you!
This website does not provide legal advice.
All information is for educational purposes only.
Copyright 2007 - 2015 by Mary Reed and Gerri Detweiler.
All rights reserved.

Disclosure: We may receive compensation for marketing some of the services mentioned on this site. Above all though, our goal is to recommend products and services we believe can help our readers. You can learn more here.