What to doabout money thatI owe if I only have SSD and VA benefits?

I voluntarily gave the bank my motorhome. They sold it at auction and now I owe $70,000. I am receiving calls daily from a collection agency. What do I do?

Asked on November 30, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Florida


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The benefits you receive - VA and SSD - are exempt from creditors and garnishment or attachment.  That will not, however, stop them from continuing to call you and from even trying to collect on what is known as a deficiency judgement (suing for the left over money owed after the sale of the motor home).  So you need to do a few things here.  First, you need to advise your bank that the money that goes in to the account you have is exempt from attachment (spell out that it is SSD and VA benefits).  Next, you need to send a letter to the creditors and advise them that you are judgement proof (hopefully you own nothing else correct?) and that your income is exempt from garnishment under the law.  Ask them to waive the deficiency judgement.  If it does not stop seek legal help.  Good luck.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You should speak with an attorney in  your area to be certain--someone who can evaluate all the specifics of your situation--it may be the case that your sources of income, veteran's benefits (I assume that's what the VA beneifts are) and social security disability, are exempt from being garnished or attached by creditors, in which case, if you have few or no other assets or income, there may be little the creditor can do other than hound you. Below will be link to a page with many of the FL laws relating to exemptions from collections; and note, if you are the "head of a household," you may have very large protection under FL law. If it turns out that your income or assets are not shielded, then you may wish to consider whether bankruptcy would be a good choice for your situation; this is something else an attorney can help you with.

Here's the link: http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Index&Title_Request=XV#TitleXV

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