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Retirement

Can a debt collector take my social security benefits?

Dear Savvy Senior,

Can my Social Security benefits be garnished if I have some outstanding debts? I just turned 62 and would like to start collecting my retirement benefits, but want to find this out before I apply.

Worried Retiree

Dear Worried,

Whether your Social Security benefits are garnishable or not depends on whom you owe. Banks and other financial creditors, for example, can’t touch your Social Security checks. But if Uncle Sam is collecting on a debt, some of your benefits are fair game. Here’s what you should know.

Creditor protections

If you have credit card debts, medical bills, unpaid...

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