debt collection contacted us and said they would take the money out of socal security check

can the treasury department deduct money from my husband's social security check that is deposited directly into mye checking account?

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Aug 10, 2010
Debt collector threatening to take Social Security Payments
by: Mary

a href="">Thanks for submitting your debt collection question on our Q&A page.

I am a little confused by your question because I am unsure if the IRS is threatening to take a portion of your husband's Social Security checks for past due federal income taxes or if a debt collector is making that threat in an effort to collect on some other type of debt that your husband owes. It's an important distinction because the answer to your question depends on the nature of the debt.

The IRS is entitled to take up to 15% of the amount of a Social Security check when someone does not pay their federal income taxes and has made no effort to resolve the debt despite repeated communications from the IRS. In other words, taking a portion of someone's Social Security payments is a collection option of last resort for the IRS and you would have received numerous letters and warnings from the IRS before it would begin to happen.

If it's the IRS that you are dealing with, I recommend you get in touch with them ASAP to discuss your situation. If you can make a convincing case that having any of your husband's Social Security money taken would represent a serious hardship for your family, you may be able to get the agency to drop its plans. If you don't feel that you can make a convincing case to the IRS yourself or simply want help dealing with your situation, schedule an appointment with a CPA who helps tax payers resolve problems with the IRS.

If the debt in question is not past due federal taxes but some other kind of debt, a debt collector is not entitled to take any of your husband's Social Security money as payment. In fact, simply threatening to take that money is a violation of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Therefore, if this is your situation, I suggest that you contact a consumer law attorney in your area who works with consumers who are having debt collection problems. Find out how to get FREE or low cost legal advice about debt collection from a consumer law attorney here. You may have grounds for a lawsuit against the debt collection agency that has been threatening you.

I also recommend that you familiarize yourself with your federal debt collection rights. A good way to do that is to get our ebook Debt Collection Answers. You can read the first chapter of Debt Collection Answers online for free.

Please share what happens with your situation in the comments section for this question. We are very interested in hearing how this turns out for you, and your experience can help others who are struggling with debt collectors.

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