Can creditors sue if the only source of income is Social Security?

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My grandmother owes on a lot of freakin credit cards, plus Verizon is on her about returning DVR boxes, that were already returned, but can't find the receipt to prove it. Verizon can kiss my a** as far as I'm concerned, but she has a good $20k piled up on credit card debt. Can credit card companies, if they are successful in trying to sue her, garnish her Social Security? She has no other assets, I swear.

I WANT Bankruptcy to be an option, but her money is just leaking out of her bank account too quickly to save up for a lawyer. Yes, I've tried to open a separate account, but there's already a bankruptcy on my credit report, so I can't open one, and my grandmother can't open a 2nd account because she just foreclosed on a home :\

There's nothing I can do for her financially, except insuring her cell phone gets paid (as well as insurances)

What the f. I mean, really.

Answers 1 to 10 of 44
Has your grandmother dementia? Then this could be argued as a defence, that she was not of sound mind when using the credit cards.

If she is on social security, and this is her only source of income, then I doubt it very much if they can touch her income. Dementia plus solely dependent on social security, your grandmother has a strong case.

Why not ask around to see if some lawyers are willing to do a pro bono case for your grandmother? (pro bono, you don't have to pay.)
Do you have durable POA for your grandmother? She sounds to me like she is no longer capable of handling her business in a businesslike manner.
Yes, I actually found a durable power of attorney signing me as an agent in her paperwork dated back for 2007. Granted, it needs to be updates with a few addresses, but it's still a legal & notarized document.

These answers make the most sense so far, and I suppose I can ask a lawyer about it.
If she's demented she can't sign a new one, so use the old one. Creditors can sue anybody they want to sue, but if she doesn't have any money it's not worth their while. Just start by calling the credit card companies. Shut a couple of the cards down. What is she buying? You can stop that.
I'm glad that you found the POA. I would write all of the credit card companies explaining the situation, who you are as her POA and enclose a copy of the POA for they are going to want to see that. Also, I would take a copy of the POA to the bank.
Top Answer
No. If a creditor other than the federal government tries to garnish your Social Security benefits, inform them that such an action violates Section 207 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 407).

Section 207 bars garnishment of your benefits. It can also be used as a defense if your benefits are incorrectly garnished. Our responsibility for protecting benefits against garnishment, assignments and other legal processes usually ends when the beneficiary is paid. However, once paid, benefits continue to be protected under section 207 of Act as long as they are identifiable as Social Security benefits.
This is from the government site. Hope it helps. Write a letter to the credit card companies stating your grandmother has dementia, and only has social security and does not have the income to pay and is judgement proof and also state that they are not allowed to call. (or change her number)
There are places that offer "second chance checking" see if there is a "Greentree Bank" in your area, google "second chance checking" they will allow you to open an account.
I have the same problem with my mom. She has so many credit card bills it isn't funny. I now have POA and have been trying to resolve this. She has dementia so she can't handle he bills I also have Rep. Payee of he SS check. I am glad to know the credit card company can't get her ss check but I know they can put a levy on your SS check if you owe gov. She owed back federal taxes and they are now taking 13% of her check till it is payed off. I didn't know she owed these tax until got a letter a few months ago saying they are putting a levy on her check. I guess there is nothing I can do about it now.
For those who asked about "What is my grandmother buying?" This has just been years of debt adding up. It's not within a year. This was like 10 years ago and now she just doesn't have the money to pay the bills anymore. It's nothing recent which makes it even more difficult. Imagine being a kid, thinking everything is okay while meanwhile your parent was paying bills with credit cards and paying credit cards with credit cards, and now that you're old enough to realize what's going on, it's like getting smacked with a brick wall and trying to dig your way through it with a spoon.


2nd chance checking accounts are not an option. She foreclosed on a house THIS year. That's worse than bankruptcy.

Currently, I am not aware if she owes the government. Also, she gets her social security directly deposited so I do not think I can be appointed a 2nd person on the check, if you know what I mean... Eventually, I will consider this an option JUST in case.

Ah..it's difficult trying to get my legal issues in order, but all this new found paperwork should help.. I'm PoA agent, AND Estate Executor. [Which is even MORE important to figure out this credit mess before hand!] Is the estate expected to pay back credit card bills after the cards have already been charged off (closed out)?

What if the estate doesn't have enough to pay them all? (I think the creditors will be SOL is that happened! Hahahahahha)
Auntkiki, Contact the IRS about an offer in compromise. Basically, if a person does not have enough assets to pay a Federal tax obligation, IRS considers a person's assets, income and expenses and determines what they are willing to accept as a pay off.

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