If you’re having trouble paying your bills or know someone who is, you may be feeling anxious and stressed over what will happen if you cannot get on top of your debt. Will your paycheck be garnished? Can creditors come after your husband or wife’s assets to pay your debt? What if you are receiving alimony or child support?
The answers to these questions can become hazy, particularly when faced with calls from debt collectors who make threats to come after your property if you do not pay.
While there are some types of income that creditors can reach, there are also others they cannot take. And you should know that if a debt collector threatens to come after those forms of income, you may have a claim against them under the fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
Here Are Some of Your Assets That Are Safe From Debt Collectors:
Social Security Disability Benefits
If you are receiving SSDI benefits from the federal government, this income is free from garnishment by your creditors.
Veteran’s Benefits & Military Annuities
If you served our country and are now receiving Veterans’ benefits, these will be free from garnishment as well. The same rule applies to military annuities and survivors’ benefits for your spouse or children.
Overseas Employee Compensation
If you are employed by a U.S. Contractor but are performing work overseas, creditors cannot garnish any compensation you or your family receives if you are injured or die as the result of a workplace accident abroad.
Benefits For Civil Service or Federal Retirement
Like Veterans’ benefits, if you are receiving benefits for your civil service or payments from a federal retirement plan, these assets cannot be garnished to pay your debts.
These are just some of the types of income that creditors cannot access to pay your debts, and they will be in violation of federal law if they threaten to do so.
You should also know that while your paycheck can be garnished to pay a debt, creditors cannot take more than 25% of it under California law.
If you are being harassed by a debt collector or have any other issue with creditors and third-party debt buyers, you need the help of an experienced debtor rights attorney—like those at Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC—to review your case and discuss your options with you. Our attorneys have decades of experience representing clients in all types of consumer defense cases and we are here to help you!