by Terry Richards

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SSA Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Social Security Retirement Income (SSRI), SSI (Supplementary Security Income), VA Service-Connected Disability Compensation, and VA Non-Service Connected Pension Direct Deposits to the DIRECT EXPRESS MasterCard cannot be Garnished by Private Creditors.

Simply put, the DIRECT EXPRESS MasterCard is Administered by Co-America Bank in an agreement with the U.S. Treasury Department but it is NOT a Bank Account. You can only withdraw funds by using the MasterCard but you cannot add funds to the MasterCard other than the monthly SSA or VA Direct Deposits sent to your DIRECT EXPRESS MasterCard by the U.S. Treasury Department.

DIRECT EXPRESS operates on the same principle as if you were receiving your SSA or VA Benefits in the mail in the form of a Check from the U.S. Treasury Department, and therefore, if you have any Private Civil Judgments against you it cannot be Garnished unless you deposit part or all of that Check into a Bank Account. Since the DIRECT EXPRESS MasterCard operates on the same principle, it cannot be Garnished by any Private Creditors because any Writs of Execution presented to the U.S. Treasury Department from Private Creditors would be rejected.

But if you receive your Direct Deposit from SSA or VA into a regular Checking or Savings Account at a Bank most Banks will Honor a Writ of Execution to Garnish your Bank Account, especially if you Co-Mingle your Checking or Savings Accounts with Deposits to the Accounts. So if you decide to stay with a Bank Account don’t Co-Mingle your funds so that if your Account gets “FROZEN” and the Bank gives you 10-days to respond as to why your Bank Account should not be Garnished, you can answer by saying as follows:

“My Bank Account is used for the sole purpose of Direct Depositing of  my Social Security and/or VA Benefits, and under Federal Law it is protected from Garnishment by Private Persons and Private Debts as long as I do not Co-Mingle my funds. Therefore, pursuant to Federal Law since I have not Co-Mingled my funds since opening this Bank Account, you cannot and permit my Bank Account to be Garnished.”

Below for your review are the Federal Laws which Exempt Garnishment to  the above Federal Benefits.

http://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/rulings/oasi/41/SSR79-04-oasi-41.html
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-02-23/pdf/2011-3782.pdf
http://www.fms.treas.gov/greenbook/guidelines_garnish0311.pdf

However, the U.S. Government can Garnish any SSA or VA income directly from the U.S. Treasury Departments for things like arrears in Alimony, Child Support, and School Loans, and money you may owe the IRS in Taxes. In most cases though the Government cannot Garnish the first $750 of your income from SSA or VA. After that they can only Garnish 15% of the difference between $750 and the rest of your remaining income.

So for example if you receive $1,000 income from SSA and/or VA, they can only Garnish 15% of $250 which is $37.50 per month. If your income from SSA and/or VA was $1,500 per month then they can only Garnish 15% of $750 which is $112.50 per month. However, sometime the IRS does take more than they are suppose to under the Law and that’s when you have to call or go to see them in person to remind them of that…

Keep in mind that you must have either a DIRECT EXPRESS MasterCard or a Checking or Savings Bank Account Direct Deposit set up by March 13, 2013 as Social Security and VA will no longer send Checks in the mail after that date.

TO ENROLL IN DIRECT EXPRESS or to read more about it from the Treasury Department just click onto the links below.
http://fms.treas.gov/directexpresscard/index.html

http://www.usdirectexpress.com/edcfdtclient/index.html

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