What are my rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was established in 1978 for the purpose of eliminating abusive debt collection practices by third-party debt collectors. The act applies to the collection of consumer debts—that is, […]
debt collection rightsRead more →
My loan was charged off. So why is the bank still requiring payment?
When a bank charges off a loan, it is an accounting procedure. It does not eliminate your obligation to the bank. Unless the bank forgave or cancelled the debt, you are still obligated to repay the loan. Once a loan has […]
Loan charge offRead more →
Debt Elimination & Fraudulent Schemes
I received an offer from an entity promising to eliminate certain debts that I owe. An OCC complaint form was included in the information they sent. I was asked to sign it but provide no additional information. Should I treat this as a legitimate offer?
No. You should contact your bank or lender if you have any questions about the debts you owe. Your lender is in the best position to work with you to correct mistakes or create an alternative payment plan. If you need to […]
debt elim occ formRead more →
I am current on all of my loan payments. Why would an entity other than my bank or creditor offer to help me eliminate my debt?
You may wish to carefully consider any communication you receive from someone other than your bank or creditor. Debt settlement or debt relief companies may offer, for a fee, to negotiate with your creditors for debt […]
debt elim schemeRead more →
I am in financial straits. What are the legitimate options for satisfying my debt?
Options for satisfying all debt owed include paying the debt in full, negotiating new terms directly with the lender, or declaring bankruptcy in a court of law. Keep in mind that bankruptcy will be reported on your […]
Debt Elimination LegitimateRead more →
What is a garnishment?
A garnishment allows a creditor to remove funds from your bank account to pay off your debt. This may happen when a creditor sues to collect a debt you owe, wins a court judgment against you, and obtains a court order […]
garnishmentRead more →
Can my bank account or salary be garnished without a court proceeding?
Usually not. In most cases a creditor must win a judgment against you and get a court order before it can garnish your wages, in accordance with state and federal law. However, some federal government agencies, such as the […]
garnishment courtRead more →
Can my Social Security or other federal benefits be garnished?
It depends. Many federal benefit payments are not subject to garnishment in most cases. These payments are known as exempt funds: Social Security benefits Supplemental Security Income benefits Veterans […]
garnishment exempt fundsRead more →
Are my federal benefits automatically protected by my bank from a garnishment order, or do I have to do something to protect them?
You do not need to do anything to keep automatically protected federal benefits from being garnished, but you should make sure that your specific benefits qualify as protected and are not subject to exceptions. Banks must […]
garnishment protect myselfRead more →
Are my state benefits exempt from garnishment?
Protections for state benefits payments come from state laws and varies by state. If you have received a notice related to a garnishment order, review the notice carefully for information about how to protect certain […]
garnishment state benefitsRead more →
Is my bank allowed to charge me a fee when it receives a garnishment order against me?
It depends. The bank is permitted to charge a garnishment fee applied against funds that are not automatically protected from garnishment, consistent with the terms of your account agreement. In many cases, up to two […]
garnishment feeRead more →
Is my bank required to tell me when it receives a garnishment order?
It depends. Your bank is required by federal law to send you a notice telling you that a court has issued a garnishment order against money in your bank account only if both of the following two conditions apply: The […]
garnishment noticeRead more →
Could I receive a garnishment order from someone other than my bank?
Yes. You could receive a garnishment notice from your creditor or the court granting the order. The notice may tell you what to do if you think money in your bank account is exempt from garnishment and give you information […]
garnishment otherRead more →
A collection agency repeatedly tries to garnish my bank account. Each time this happens, my bank account is frozen. I provided the collection agency appropriate notification that the account contains only Social Security or other federal benefit payments that are exempt from garnishment, but they continue to try to garnish my account. What can I do?
Contact your bank to inform it of the situation. You may also consider doing one or more of the following: Contact your state attorney general or consumer protection agency for assistance or to file a complaint. Seek […]
garnishment collectionRead more →
What happens if my state provides greater protection against freezing or garnishing my money than federal law?
The law of your state may exempt more funds from garnishment than the protection provided to certain federal benefits. Review any notice or other information that you received about the garnishment for information about […]
garnishment stateRead more →
What can I do if my bank account is frozen due to a garnishment order and it includes Social Security or other federal benefit payments?
The specific process will depend on state law. Generally, state law requires that you receive, or be sent, a letter or other notice telling you that a court has issued a garnishment order for money in your bank account. […]
garnish frozenRead more →
My bank received a garnishment order. Is my bank required to determine if my deposit account includes Social Security or other federal benefit payments?
Generally, yes. If your bank receives a garnishment order for your bank account, and the garnishment order was not obtained by the federal government or a state child support enforcement agency, it must perform an account […]
garnishment bank determineRead more →
Joint Account Liability
Can the bank report information on a debt of my ex-spouse on my credit report?
Yes, if the loan was a joint account. Joint credit account holders remain liable on the account until the debt is satisfied or some other manner of release occurs. If you are not a joint account holder and believe the loan […]
joint account liability credit reportRead more →
The divorce decree made my former spouse responsible for our debt, but he/she isn't paying. Given this, the bank says it's my responsibility as a joint account holder to pay the debt. Is this correct?
Both joint credit account holders remain liable on the account until the debt is satisfied or otherwise discharged. When married joint account holders get divorced, the following factors may be relevant: The terms of a […]
joint account liability ex not payingRead more →
Right of Offset Payments
May a bank take money from my deposit account to make a payment on a loan that I owe to the bank?
Usually, yes, if allowed under the terms of your deposit account agreement and loan contract. Generally, a bank may take money from your deposit account to make a payment on a separate debt that you owe to the bank, such […]
right of offsetRead more →
What can I do if my bank took Social Security money from my checking account to pay on a loan that I owe to the bank?
You should contact your bank to inform them that the source of some, or all, of the money in your account was Social Security benefits. In some cases, depending on the terms of your account agreement, a bank may offset a […]
right of offset ss benefitsRead more →
My Social Security check was deposited into my bank account. Before my check was deposited, I wrote a check for an amount larger than what I had in my account and the bank used some of the money from my Social Security check to pay the extra amount of the check that was not in my account, plus the fee I was charged for making this mistake. May the bank do this?
Review your account agreement or contact the bank for an explanation of the bank’s overdraft policy. You may want to inform the bank that the source of the deposit was Social Security benefits. If you still have questions […]
right of offset ss fundsRead more →