Can a creditor take money from my disability check?

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Can a creditor take money from my disability check?

For a credit card debt. Wife died left me alone. Now I have to pay it all and I don’t have the money. Turned over to an attorney to collect.

Asked on June 17, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Most disability payments, SSD for example, are what is known as "exempt" funds. This means that they cannot be garnished by a creditor. It used to be that a creditor could freeze your bank account in an attempt to get them. If you did not object within a specified timeframe then the money would in fact be paid over by your bank even though they were otherwise exempt.  But this is no longer the case. As a result of recent legislation, if exempt funds are paid into an account via direct deposit, they cannot be frozen in your account (although other non-exempt money can be). So as long as you have direct deposit (you do not deposit a check), your creditor cannot garnish your disability payments.

Note: Only 2 months worth of benefits are protected and don't transfer benefits to another account or else the protection is void.


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