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Garnished Grandmas Unaware of Protections

Posted Apr 30, 2007 9:37 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Some debt collectors are garnishing Social Security payments in violation of federal law.

Banks earn a range of fees on garnishment orders and don’t check the source of funds when complying, the Wall Street Journal reports (sub. req.)

That means it’s up to Social Security recipients to raise the issue.

The paper tells the story of Cloette Rice, who died before a fifth garnishment order against her was resolved. The Minnesota attorney general has sued the law firm that helped garnish her account, Messerli & Kramer of Plymouth, Minn., saying it repeatedly garnishes accounts with exempt funds.

The firm declined comment.

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