Can a collection agency garnish mySS benefits?

UPDATED: Feb 23, 2011

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Can a collection agency garnish mySS benefits?

I’m a co-signer on an auto loan; auto was repossessed.

Asked on February 23, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Arizona


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Fortunately for you SS benefits are what is known as "exempt".  Federal law prohibits garnishment of these funds. However, the benefits must be identifiable as Social Security benefits.  Therefore if you deposit this income into a bank account, it will only continue to be protected as long as it is are identifiable as such a benefit.  Once it becomes co-mingled (mixed) with other monies, it may be garnished if you can't identify specifcally which are SS funds. So to play it safe, keep these benefits separate and apart from other funds.

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