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Will this strategy protect my pension?


Guest jerrywarriner
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Guest jerrywarriner

Despite the fact that my income is derived solely from Social Security and a pension, an aggressive attorney has filed writs of levy against me in two California counties (so far).

Each writ states, "Levy on any and all accounts, safe deposit boxes and certificates of deposit in the judgment debtor's name." I have no safe deposit boxes or CDs.

I can try to protect my pension by filing an exemption, but I'd have to submit a financial statement that would give away the location of my bank accounts and other sensitive information.

An attorney suggested the following strategy: I should discontinue the direct deposit of my pension payment into my checking account and keep my checking and savings accounts "pure." In other words, ensure that the accounts contain only Social Security benefits.

I should ask my pension fund to mail me a check, take it to my bank and convert it into a cashier's check to use to pay my rent.

I read that under California law, a judgment creditor cannot grab pension payments until they are deposited in a bank account.

Is this a sound strategy?

Incidentally, the attorney represents Atlantic Credit and Finance. As far as I know he only knows about my Social Security, not the pension. He sued me for $25,000, which includes $2,500 in legal fees.

I have so few assets that I don't understand why he's pursuing me with such vigor. I'm so broke I can't even pay my $420-a-month electric bill in full (I live in the desert).

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  • 6 months later...

Soc. Sec. will electronically deposit your monthly "check" into a safe account.

It's a program started by So. Sec. called DIRECT EXPRESS. They even provide you with a DEBIT CARD. GOOGLE it (and use cash or money order to pay the rent... they will go after funds in your regular checking account.)

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Despite the fact that my income is derived solely from Social Security and a pension, an aggressive attorney has filed writs of levy against me in two California counties (so far).

Each writ states, "Levy on any and all accounts, safe deposit boxes and certificates of deposit in the judgment debtor's name." I have no safe deposit boxes or CDs.

I can try to protect my pension by filing an exemption, but I'd have to submit a financial statement that would give away the location of my bank accounts and other sensitive information.

An attorney suggested the following strategy: I should discontinue the direct deposit of my pension payment into my checking account and keep my checking and savings accounts "pure." In other words, ensure that the accounts contain only Social Security benefits.

I should ask my pension fund to mail me a check, take it to my bank and convert it into a cashier's check to use to pay my rent.

I read that under California law, a judgment creditor cannot grab pension payments until they are deposited in a bank account.

Is this a sound strategy?

Incidentally, the attorney represents Atlantic Credit and Finance. As far as I know he only knows about my Social Security, not the pension. He sued me for $25,000, which includes $2,500 in legal fees.

I have so few assets that I don't understand why he's pursuing me with such vigor. I'm so broke I can't even pay my $420-a-month electric bill in full (I live in the desert).

You need to very careful on how you proceed, but you are correct in that as long as the account that your SSI goes into has nothing else then that money is safe.

For $25K why don't you just file for BK, and wash your hands of this fella?

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