Long Beach, CA asked in Social Security, Bankruptcy, Civil Litigation and Collections for California

Q: I received a summons regarding unpaid (& undisputed) credit card debt. I am disabled, with SS as sole income.

I was laid off in 2012. I continued to pay all debts until approx Jan 2016 when I ran out of money (including liquidating all retirement savings). I have been on disability since June 8, 2015. I was granted Social Security benefits - my only source of income - in July 2016. I have no car, no real property, no cash, no insurance, nothing which can be liquidated to pay creditors. I owe back taxes to state & federal. Both are now considered "hardship." I am considering bankruptcy, w/o an atty. SSI & SSDI auto deposits are exempt from garnishment, removing the court from the conversation, right? I chose not to respond to the summons. I expect other creditors to follow suit. Advice?

1 Lawyer Answer
Sergio G. Chaidez
Sergio G. Chaidez
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • San Diego, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: It is better to get out ahead of them. While SSI & SSDI direct deposits are exempt, that will not necessarily prevent a judgment creditor from trying to collect against them and forcing you to explain why they are exempt.

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