my disability check?
I filed for bankruptcy in 1998 because I bought too much
Since then, I have managed to keep my spending
under fairly good control. I have rebuilt my credit to where I have two credit
cards, with a very low limit on each one. I have become 100-percent disabled due
to health reasons, and my disability check gives me just about enough money to
Now the problem is that every hospital in the area
is trying to sue me for money I don't have. They are talking about
garnishing my disability check. I do not mind paying my debts if
I have the money, but I cannot afford to spend more than I do now
and still be able to live. Can a hospital garnish my government
disability check? I live in Virginia if that makes any difference
in answering my question. Thanks.
-- James Jam
Federal and state laws provide exemptions protecting some income
sources from garnishment. Laws vary by state. The Code
of Virginia addresses these exemptions in § 8.01-512.4 -- Notice of exemptions
from garnishment. Federal code addresses garnishment in Title 15, Chapter 41,
Subchapter II, Section 1673 -- Restriction
Before a creditor can garnish your income,
they have to sue and win a court judgment against you. Virginia law requires that
a notice of exemptions form and a claim for exemption form be attached to any
summons in garnishment. You can use the claim for exemption form in a request
for a hearing concerning a garnishment exemption claim.
typically can't garnish welfare, Social Security, unemployment, pension or disability
checks. There are exceptions. For example, you're not likely to exempt income
from garnishment when it concerns back child-support payments.
may be "judgment proof" if your creditors can't attach income or assets
for payment. Read Alternatives
to Chapter 7 Bankruptcy on Nolo.com for help in determining your exposure
If you're not "judgment proof" and
you received a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge in 1998, then you have to wait six
years before you can again file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7. You should still
be able to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 13. Consult a bankruptcy attorney
to determine if this is the right course of action for you.