Q: Can Military retirement levied from a bank account after a judgement in SC. It's consumer debt only. (Not VA disability)
If I retired from the Military and get a judgement against me for an unpaid credit card, can the money be taken from my bank account? This is not VA disability it's a military retirement pension paid monthly. I have consulted many lawyers and received conflicting opinions.
A: Section 38 U.S. Code § 5301 clearly states that military retirement is exempt from levy by most creditors. A credit card debt is not one of the creditors who can levy on retirement pay. The issue is that some states will allow the levy if anything else is in the account such as spouse's money, a part-time job etc.
Once the money is taken, it is always hard to get it back. You may want to send a letter to the attorney for the creditor who obtains the judgment advising them that your only source of income is military retirement. If they then levy on the account, you may be entitled to punitive damages etc for a willful violation of this code section.
Some creditors will claim that once the money is in a bank account, it is no longer military retirement. That is not the law, but, you may still have to fight the creditor.
If you are in SC, you really need to meet with an SC attorney who can go over exemptions and the protection the law gives you from a levy of most if not all of your assets.
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