If you are an older individual who took out your student loan many years ago, you may be shocked to learn that the government (but not private lenders) has the ability to garnish your Social Security payments. Social Security benefits are typically protected in other collection matters, but the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 provides:
Notwithstanding any other provision of law… all payments due to an individual under… the Social Security Act… shall be subject to offset under this section.
This means that no matter how long ago you defaulted on your federal student loans, the government can take money from your Social Security paycheck. The law protects the first $750 you receive each month. Thus, a minimum of $9000 each year is protected from being garnished. The government also cannot garnish more than 15% of your total Social Security benefit.
If you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), it cannot be offset to pay your federal student loans. If a debt collector claims they can garnish your SSI benefits, do not believe them. You should inform the collector that by making this kind of statement, they are violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. If they continue to harass you, contact us for help.
If the government is going to offset your Social Security benefits, you will be given written notice. Contact us as soon as you receive notice because you only have twenty (20) days
Before the government can offset your Social Security, you must be given notice. If you receive this notice, you should contact us immediately. You only have twenty (20) days from the date you received the notice to request a review. You can also request an oral hearing. We have experience in obtaining reviews and establishing financial hardship. We can also assist you with negotiating a repayment plan with your lender prior to the offset.
The “defender of the little guy,” DeLadurantey Law Office, LLC. handles student loan debt and bankruptcy matters (Chapter 7 and Chapter 13) in Milwaukee, South Milwaukee, West Milwaukee, and Milwaukee County, including the municipalities of Bayside, Brown Deer, Cudahy, Fox Point, Franklin, Glendale, Greendale, Greenfield, Hales Corners, Oak Creek, River Hills, Shorewood, St. Francis, Wauwatosa, West Allis, and Whitefish Bay. The firm also can handle your debt negotiations, debt relief, and mortgage loan modifications. Contact DeLadurantey Law Office, LLC by phone: (414) 377-0518. Like us on Facebook.