Debt and the Elderly
Meager cash flow, usually just Social Security. Too many of our elderly are enduring continuing stress and scrimping on food, medical treatment and prescriptions, and emergency cash reserves. It is important to know that Social Security payments and pension payments are exempt from seizure by creditors. In other words, the creditors can never garnish or seize any portion of these monthly payments. The elderly are frequently “judgment proof”, which means that everything they own is protected from seizure by a creditor, even if a lawsuit is filed against them.
The only recourse these creditors can do is employ debt collectors to harass the elderly into making payments. This can be solved under federal law, by instructing the debt collector to cease communications, under the Fair Debt Collection Act. It is even better to do this in writing. See the section: How do I deal with debt collectors?
Family members and care givers are urged to recognize the problem of unmanageable debts, and get legal advise for them. Often, filing bankruptcy is not even necessary.