New Rule Protects Federal Benefit Checks from Seizure by Creditors

A new federal rule effective May 1, 2011, vastly strengthens protections for Social Security, SSI, VA, federal retirement checks, and certain other federal benefits from seizure by creditors. Heretofore, in theory such benefits were protected, but not in practice. Under the current rules, creditors could seize the consumer’s bank funds and it was up to the consumer to hire an attorney to challenge the seizure or garnishment. Needless to say, hardly any consumer successfully challenged the seizures leaving many consumers unable to pay the rent. The new rule requires all banks and credit unions to determine whether exempt federal benefits...

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