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  #1  
Old 01-06-2015, 12:56 AM
connie189 Female connie189 is offline
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Default S S $eparation

Just wondering how many people here co-mingle their SS funds with everyday funds from other sources in one account at their bank?

After giving it much thought, I verified it with a lawyer about keeping SS funds deposited separate from other funds - in a dedicated account. And that means you can't put $1.00 rebate check in it. You can direct funds out to your checking account (in the same bank or outside of it) to pay bills.

If something happens and your assets are garnished (in this case savings/checking accounts) by a creditor, then your DEDICATED SS is exempt.

If the funds were co-mingled, they would set aside the amount the US gov determined they should and the rest goes to the creditor(s).

The only time (that I know of) that the SS account can get docked directly is when you owe back taxes or SS overpayments (they made).

Just one more way to have control of your money.

Also make sure to have a POD (Payable On Death) designation on accounts.

If you have a co-mingled account and are garnished, make sure the bank withholds the correct amount of funds (I believe it's two months). Banks don't always do what they're supposed to.
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Old 01-06-2015, 11:30 AM
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coaltrain Male coaltrain is offline
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Cash is king.

If your SS money is not in the bank how can they garnish it?
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Old 01-07-2015, 02:53 AM
Selena Selena is offline
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And while it is law that they cannot garnish SS (and some other sources of deposits), there is no guarantee your bank will make sure the funds aren't from SS. Sad but true and once the money is taken, you will have a battle on your hands to get it back.
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Old 01-07-2015, 03:45 AM
connie189 Female connie189 is offline
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The lawyer and I had a talk about that one - (banks not reviewing SS account deposits - which is why to keep funds totally separate from the start).
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Old 01-07-2015, 03:49 AM
connie189 Female connie189 is offline
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coaltrain,

That's a good point you have.

But I wouldn't keep anything in a safe deposit box, though...

I've actually met people that take out postal money orders for huge amounts of $$.

Not sure how successful they're been with that since I didn't follow up (years ago).
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Old 01-07-2015, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by connie189 View Post
coaltrain,

That's a good point you have.

But I wouldn't keep anything in a safe deposit box, though...

I've actually met people that take out postal money orders for huge amounts of $$.

Not sure how successful they're been with that since I didn't follow up (years ago).
Well I don't have huge amounts so it doesn't matter. I guess some people can bankroll their SS while others barely survive with it.

I don't use money orders either - just CASH
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Old 01-08-2015, 02:44 AM
Selena Selena is offline
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The lawyer and I had a talk about that one - (banks not reviewing SS account deposits - which is why to keep funds totally separate from the start).
Still no guarantee the low-on-the-totem-pole clerk will check the source of your deposits. I wonder if you could title the account in such a way where social security would be highly visible?

And it also depends to whom you owe the money - government agencies have a different set of rules. Back taxes are the worst as most govt. garnishments have to leave the first $750 (amount may be different these days) alone. Grandparents (or even parents) who signed for student loans have been surprised to find their social security being garnished.

You are smart to only have social security deposited into that account. But if you transfer the money into another account, it becomes fair game. So leave it in the account or turn it into cash.

Under a federal rule that became effective in May 2011, your bank is required automatically to protect up to two months of these benefits that are directly deposited into your account.
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Old 01-08-2015, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
If the funds were co-mingled, they would set aside the amount the US gov determined they should and the rest goes to the creditor(s).
So the SS amount is protected anyway.
They already know exactly how much came from SS

I'd worry less about that and more about making sure my bills are paid so there are no "garnishments"
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Old 01-08-2015, 06:34 PM
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It is always a good idea to pay your bills on time. It is also a good idea to segregate SS funds if there is any possible chance of a garnishment.

Student loans, child support and federal taxes can be garnished before you receive your SS benefits -- handled like withholding.

I had a client who complained about child support being deducted from his SS. He was a deadbeat dad who worked hard at avoiding child support so I pointed out that if he'd paid it when it was due it wouldn't be an issue now. Same way with people who keep deferring student loan payments and then find out payments are withheld from SS benefits. Both made shortsighted decisions that came back to bite them in the butt.

Visa, Mastercard, your local hospital, etc. cannot get at your SS benefits if funds are totally segregated. BTW, if there is a garnishment on your account, you cannot withdraw the funds to avoid the garnishment. As soon as a deposit hits your account it will go directly to the garnishment. Do not put any funds into that bank or any branch of that bank.

I believe it is no longer possible to get SS benefits in the form of a check. Its all auto deposit.
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Old 01-09-2015, 02:31 AM
Selena Selena is offline
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So the SS amount is protected anyway.
They already know exactly how much came from SS

I'd worry less about that and more about making sure my bills are paid so there are no "garnishments"
Only two months worth AND depending on the creditor, may not be two full months.

A person may not owe any money yet be garnished, all it takes is a transposed number. Or more likely, identity theft.

Concern about garnishments is well warranted for those whose main source of income is social security.
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Old 01-10-2015, 01:36 PM
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There maybe a law against garnishment of SS but it has happened--I know it can be done.
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Old 01-15-2015, 01:35 PM
connie189 Female connie189 is offline
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I called the legal service and got another lawyer for another opinion...

The same info as before; I took it further and asked if the dopes at the bank made a mistake and paid out a dedicated account $$ what would happen. She said that I would first have to file a formal "complaint" on the bank and work from there.

She did say if I got into that kind of situation, to show up at the judgment hearing (before the garnishment) to relay to the judge that there is a dedicated SS account to make him/her aware.

For people that say "just pay your bills" like that takes care of all possible $/scenarios and it's no big deal, most likely haven't had any major problems yet.

I can give you a scenario that happened with me re insurance/medical coverage. In 1984, had an almost 2 month stint in the hospital with a ruptured disk that happened suddenly when hubby and I were moving a piece of furniture up to a third floor apartment. Pain/cramps 24/7. Finally had surgery after I had trouble urinating - surgery the next morning. Got out of the hospital 5 days later; less than 2 days home in a brace and with a cane, hobbled to the door when some guy I noticed "casing" the outside of the building rang our bell. Was an "investigator" for Metropolitan Life (the insurer). He wanted to quiz me on my hospital stay and more medical info. I said your company contacted my PC doc's office and you had access to my complete file when I filed (I had a friend that worked in his office that informed me) and have my records. I cut the conversation short after that. A week or two later, I get in the mail, a check for the premiums I paid and a statement that they weren't paying my bill. Reason? That I had a "cold" (actually it was allergies that I consulted the PC about) and that I had "left out the cold" off my application (wrong!). But this was the reason they used to not have to pay the bills from my hospital stay. I had to get a lawyer. This was a common practice by insurance companies not to pay. (One reason I'm for the current healthcare plan - they can't pull this cr*p anymore).

Suggestions: 1) don't cash any refund checks re premiums you've paid until you speak to a lawyer; 2) watch which companies you do business with (easier with the internet now).

Also, it doesn't take much $$ for someone to file a lien or judgment against you/your home. I had a long talk with an attorney about it. I asked whether someone could file for as little as owing $200 (doesn't have to be medical). She said yes. And also garnish and file a lien on your property. Hopefully, if you don't have a huge medical bill when you get out of the hospital and have the savings and can work, AND THEY LET YOU MAKE PAYMENTS (something that's hard to find nowadays), you can pay it off in time. But then, if you've had a heart attack or stroke and can't....?
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Old 01-15-2015, 01:47 PM
connie189 Female connie189 is offline
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Txanne,

It can be done because the dopes at the bank make mistakes.

I spend a couple of hours A DAY straightening out problems EVERY TIME we do business with someone (doesn't have to be medical). HARDLY ANYONE KNOWS their job(s) anymore or are "expert" at it.

I spent 4-5 days just trying to get a script for a mammogram at my gyne's office (been going there 35 years). Dopes couldn't understand the insurance plan/coverage. Then, had to go after the dope attorney that sent off a letter after I consulted with him about the healthcare situation in general. (Wasn't supposed to send off a letter; he denied he did it but signed it and didn't count on me getting a copy of it from my gyne's office).

So you see where my day(s) go, LOL.

Usually I wind up calling corporate office(s) and speaking to supervisors.
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Old 01-15-2015, 01:57 PM
connie189 Female connie189 is offline
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Selena,

The attorney I talked with yesterday didn't have an answer for when I inquired, "How do you open a dedicated SS account when the account has to be already in place for the SS direct deposit and "no other funds, not even a penny" (her advice) in it?"

She said that was a good question, LOL.

I even asked about using the SS card (for benefits) but she said that could be garnished, too (owing IRS or by mistake).

She finally came up with, "Go ahead and put minimal $ in it and it should be fine" but she admitted that she really didn't know.

I think not keeping it at the same bank, although if there was a hearing/judgment, the court would ask where all your assets are??

Earmarking it so it stands out, not sure how.

Best defense, making it 100% SS monies.

It would be nice if we could get the initial SS check first, THEN open an account (somewhere).

I wonder if they can garnish investment accounts?
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Old 01-15-2015, 02:01 PM
connie189 Female connie189 is offline
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Anna,

I don't owe anyone, but don't feel confident with what is going on - too many "mistakes" that cost me (and others).

Somehow it's easier to take as many precautions as you can and are available.
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Old 01-15-2015, 05:49 PM
CrossRoads Female CrossRoads is offline
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If both people in the household have SS coming in, then each check could go in a different checking account and or at different banks if need be.
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Old 01-15-2015, 06:22 PM
connie189 Female connie189 is offline
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Crossroads,

I think you're right, and I should do that. Some of my reasoning was to keep hubby's deposits coming in so we can qualify at the bank for a loan (for the house we want to get when we sell this place).

The bank (which is right behind where we live) gave us an almost immediate approval for a loan last year.

I thought we'd be out of here last year, LOL.

I want to set up the accounts the way the lawyer recommended, but not sure how to start an account with just SS funds and not even open an account with "other" money as she phrased it.

Agh!!
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Old 01-15-2015, 07:51 PM
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Usually a bank will open an account for social security deposits without any $'s being necessary. I know several of my clients were able to do so. Some banks are much better to work with than others. Personally I'd never do business with Chase, Bank of America or Wells Fargo to name 3. I stick with locally owned small town banks.

We never put all our funds into one bank. Its a matter of not putting all your eggs in one basket.

Also, if you think you might have a problem with accounts being garnished, do not deposit funds in any branch of a bank. Banks usually have a special department at corporate that handles garnishments so any funds in any branch of that bank will be garnished.

In our state, any judgment entered against you filed in or transcribed to the county where your property is located automatically becomes a lien against your real estate. Which brings up another issue. If you have a judgment/lien against you and pay it off, you need to be sure the person/business holding the judgment releases it of record. You don't want to find out 8 years down the road when you try to sell your house that the judgment was never released. Then you have to find the judgment holder and try to prove you paid it. I've seen people end up paying it a second time because they no longer have proof they had already paid.
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Old 01-16-2015, 01:27 AM
connie189 Female connie189 is offline
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anna,

They are not that "smart" at our branch right next door to us. Managers come and go and not stay long; now they are in part-time. I had to tell the latest manager some things about the bank property she was unaware of. Everyone is over their heads, I think.

I called the online banking department today to ask how to set up the account. I'm no closer than before with their answers.

That is so surprising that some banks will set up a SS account beforehand. (This rep said there would be a $100 deposit to open one, first). I guess I need to call around (or talk to a supervisor with the online service...)

I did find out before that I could transfer hubby's SS funds from another bank.

Just wondering, what difference would it make if you had funds in numerous banks as far as garnishments...wouldn't you have to disclose your assets to the judge (all banks)?

It does make sense not to keep a lot in checking if you use a debit card.

Someone charged hubby's card for almost $1,000 for a laptop that was sent to TX. I caught it (check accounts every day). The vendor decided to let it be "delivered" (UPS) and then they arrested the person at the other end.
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Old 01-16-2015, 02:35 AM
Selena Selena is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by connie189 View Post
Selena,

The attorney I talked with yesterday didn't have an answer for when I inquired, "How do you open a dedicated SS account when the account has to be already in place for the SS direct deposit and "no other funds, not even a penny" (her advice) in it?"

She said that was a good question, LOL.

I even asked about using the SS card (for benefits) but she said that could be garnished, too (owing IRS or by mistake).

She finally came up with, "Go ahead and put minimal $ in it and it should be fine" but she admitted that she really didn't know.

I think not keeping it at the same bank, although if there was a hearing/judgment, the court would ask where all your assets are??

Earmarking it so it stands out, not sure how.

Best defense, making it 100% SS monies.

It would be nice if we could get the initial SS check first, THEN open an account (somewhere).

I wonder if they can garnish investment accounts?
They can't put a lien on retirement accounts (401k, IRA, Roth IRA). Investment accounts are probably fair game.

Joint accounts are fair game too - even if the garnishee has never put a penny into the account, monies can be seized.

Finding assets can be easy - social security numbers!

Don't get me started on the "why you went to the doctor" crap that nailed you. You're right that it won't haunt you for medical but it has now reared its ugly head in the life insurance realm (really, a trip to the dermatologist for non-specified dermatitis means you need a paramedical exam??).

I'll noodle a bit more on the money segregation. Couple of ideas but I need to do some research.
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