Low income debtors, particularly seniors and the disabled, across the state of Oregon are often concerned about a collectors’ ability to garnish of levy their social security or SSI benefits. Thankfully, the answer is almost alays a resounding; however, as with all things, there are exceptions to this rule. These exceptions are as follows:

  1. Up to fifteen percent of your social security checks, but not your SSI,  can be taken every year to repay federal taxes;

  2. Any amount over $750 per month can be garnished from your social security checks, but not your SSI, to collect federal debts other than taxes;

  3. If you have a current Oregon support order, the monthly amounts can be taken out of your social security checks, but not your SSI checks;

  4. If you have back owed child support an additional twenty percent can be taken out of your social security, but not SSI. If you only owe back child support, the total amount taken out can never be more than half of your social security, unless a court orders otherwise.

The reality is that in Oregon a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will put an end to garnishments for back owed support.The back owed support will be paid but at zero percent interest over a long period of time and only after secured obligations such as needed vehicle payments and mortgage arrears are taken care of.

If you are wondering about how Chapter 13 might help you keep more of your Social Security dollars on a monthly basis, please contact us or set up an appointment online at one of our Oregon offices in either Portland or Salem. I look forward to hearing from you.

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