Who is responsible for a wrongful garnishment of social security funds?

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Who is responsible for a wrongful garnishment of social security funds?

We were never notified of a collections companytaking my husband’s money for my medical bills. When we received the judgement, I called the banks garnishment office and they assured me his money was exempt because it is social security money so we left it there. We just found out they emptied his savings about 3 months ago. The bank says they don’t have his address and the letter was returned to them. They do have our address. We received 2 other notices from the garnishment office. Don’t they have to give it back if they shouldn’t have given it in the first place? Is there anything we can do?

Asked on October 18, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Oregon

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If there is a judgment against you and your husband and there was a bank levy upon your bank accounts where money was taken from the accounts and you were not given notice of the levy, then the sheriff who served the levy as well as the bank from whom the bank accounts were with should have given you notice of the levy so you could have filed a claim of exemption and had the court make a determination if the money could be taken or not to satisfy the judgment.

You need to remember bank accounts per se are not typically exempt from the levy process. Just because your husband's social security checks were placed in a bank account and the fact that social security payments are exempt from the levy process, the cashing of these social security checks changes their exempt status from collection.


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