Senior Citizens Social Security Student Loan Garnishments

Student Loan

In 2005, older adults owed $2.8 Billion in federal student debt. However, 2013 saw an increase to over $18 Billion. This is according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in 706,000 households compared to 22 million households with the remaining student loan debt.

People over 65 who are on social security default their student loan debt at a much higher rate. Although other debts like income taxes can be discharged in bankruptcy, student loans are presumed to be non-dischargeable unless undue hardship is proven.

The elderly who live on Social Security benefits are having their benefits garnished however at an alarmingly increasing rate from about 31,000 in 2002 to 155,000 in 2013. This forces many of them into a poverty-level standard of living in retirement.

Senior Citizens Social Security Student Loan Garnishments

Student LoanAlthough there are a few programs such as the IBR program that prevent this for some senior citizens. Although private student loans can’t garnish social security benefits they can sue and collect from non-exempt assets such as a home, furniture, cars, wages, and bank accounts. Government loans can however garnish wages, tax refunds, bank accounts, and social security benefits of senior citizens without going to court to obtain a judgment.

Although private loans have to sue before they can attach assets the government loans can attach far more property without a court order or even actual notice. Instead, notice is simply sent to the last known address of the individual.

⎆ Available options.

What can be done is that the senior citizen can either

  1. File a Chapter 13 with a nominal monthly payment.
  2. File bankruptcy and request for an undue hardship discharge.
  3. File for rehabilitation and/or IBR loan. (Income-based repayment) plan loans are based on earned household income. If the income is zero the payment is zero. Social Security is not earned income. So the payments for the elderly on social security and no earned income is zero. If the senior citizen has other income the IBR loan payment is based on that.

Still garnishing the social security benefits of senior citizens sounds horrible. The impact that it has on minorities seems worse than others.  Social Security is often to be the only source of income in old age while others may have other pension incomes. When you look at this and the fact that subprime auto loans have tripled it paints a picture of desperation for the economy, not a recovery.

Home mortgages for the poor and the lower middle class has left the American dream. It now primarily belongs to an upper middle class and higher element of society and along with it the possibility of any upward class mobility. Whereas student loans for meaningful jobs were the goal it seems to have vanished with accountability for the schools that sold worthless degrees for nonexisting jobs. Social Security garnishments should not follow senior citizens to the grave or rush them into it. Social Security and becoming a senior citizen should be the end of student loans.

Free Bankruptcy Manual Nick Thompson Bankruptcy by Nick Thompson, Bankruptcy AttorneyResources for Bankruptcy

Louisville Kentucky Bankruptcy Forms

How to Stop Federal Student Loan Wage Garnishment • Video

Government Student Loan Garnishments and Collections

Mortgage Modification Program Checklist

Chapter 7 and Foreclosure Clients

If you are thinking about filing bankruptcy, don’t delay because timing is crucial. I am here to help you. So, contact my office right away to start the conversation. Nick C. Thompson, Bankruptcy Lawyer: 502-625-090

Share This Article, Choose Your Platform!

Our Services

Contact Us with Mailing Address

Fill out the contact form stop by or Call 502 625-0903 to request your free copy of our book. We practice in Louisville, Lexington and New Albany Indiana.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Download Our Bankruptcy Manual
Recent Posts