Legal Question in Credit and Debt Law in North Carolina

I received a writ of execution but had no warning of this til after was done. Had moved and by the time I received anything it was to late to file exemption. The money in the bank is SSI and pension.....they took all of it & froze account. So I have no way to live I take care of my mother who is bedridden & have no means of supporting her. What can be done so that we have money to live on for rent, etc. ? Please what do I need to do first & is it possible that they might take payments out of account instead of taking everything?

Asked on 4/03/13, 9:03 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

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If you only receive SSI then that is exempt under federal law and cannot be garnished/levied regardless of whether you filed the NC exemptions. So either the bank messed up OR you commingled the SSI exempt monies with non-exempt monies belonging to you or another person. Which is it?

If the bank is the one that messed up, then you can present evidence showing the source of the funds and get the money back. In such case, go and have a talk with the bank and together you and the bank needs to have a talk with the sheriff if the funds have been turned over. If the bank just put a hold on the funds, then get the bank to release the hold because SSI cannot be garnished. There is also a federal treasury regulation on this.

If you have commingled SSI with non-exempt funds, then you lose the SSI protection and will lose the money. It is not coming back. The creditor is not going to give you the funds back - they do not care that you have expenses. You can make payment arrangements so they will not levy again, but this will not work for money that is already gone. You can try ... but I am telling you how creditors generally behave when it comes to a bank levy so don't expect them to do anything.

You can assert your constitutional exemptions at any time but the sheriff already levied so it might be too late. You only get $500 under the constitutional exemptions anyway. If the funds have been commingled, then stop commingling. Let the bank know that only SSI is in this special account and cannot be touched.

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4/03/13, 9:37 pm

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