Garnishment of benefits suspended indefinitely

by | Apr 16, 2020 | Opinion

AMAC says it will fight to make it permanent

WASHINGTON, DC – The Trump Administration has put a timely halt on the ability of the government to garnish Social Security benefits to pay for defaulted student loans for an indefinite period during the COVID crisis, reports the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC].

Seniors are the fastest growing segment of the population with outstanding student loan debt. Research conducted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau [CFPB] shows that, “In 2018, Americans over the age of 50 owed more than $260 billion in student debt, up from $36 billion in 2004, according to the Federal Reserve. Nearly 40 percent of borrowers aged 65 and older are in default.”

AMAC has been in the forefront of the fight to protect Social Security benefits from garnishment. “Forty-five percent of unmarried Social Security recipients and 21% of married couples rely on their benefits for at least 90% of their income. Garnishing that fixed income for student loan debt can have a particularly devastating impact on their lives,” says Bob Carlstrom, president of the AMAC Action initiative.

In a statement issued today, Carlstrom expressed AMAC’s appreciation for the decision to suspend the garnishment of Social Security benefits:

“We commend the Administration and the Secretary of Education for suspending the ability of the federal government to garnish the Social Security income of beneficiaries for payment of student debt during this challenging time. The Secretary has indeed responded to the concerns and pleas of many members – and non-members – of AMAC. This action is a good first step on this issue.

“Social Security benefits are off limits to nearly all creditors, but not the federal government which can garnish Social Security benefits for certain debts, including federal student loan debt cosigned by retirees. According to the Federal Reserve, Americans over 50 hold $260 billion in student loan debt. Benefits can be garnished for court-ordered child support or alimony, or for debts owed to the government. For many seniors, however, their monthly Social Security check is both a critical part of, and indeed the safety net, of their income and financial situation. We believe Social Security benefits should be protected from garnishment by any party, including the federal government.

“We believe Social Security benefits should be protected permanently from student loan default garnishment by any party, including the federal government.”

The two million member Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC] is a senior advocacy organization that takes its marching orders from its members. Together, we act and speak on the Association members’ behalf, protecting their interests and offering a practical insight on how to best solve the problems they face today. Join at amac.us/join-amac.

For more stories like this, see the April 16 issue or subscribe online.

0 Comments

Related News

Rural America needs sound, predictable tax policy

Rural America needs sound, predictable tax policy

They say that nothing is certain in life ex­cept death and taxes. While those two certainties are undeniable, we need to make sure that family-owned busi­nesses, including farms and ranches, aren’t taxed to death. Texas boasts more than 248,000 farming and ranch­ing...

read more
Absent lawmakers stymie special session

Absent lawmakers stymie special session

Nearly 60 Texas House Democrats left the state last Monday for Washington, D.C. in an effort to stop passage of a Republican-led elections bill. This in effect blocks all legislation since the House doesn’t have a quorum present. As the Austin Ameri­can Statesman and...

read more
We’re global now

We’re global now

No matter how hard we try, we really can’t avoid one another. We live in a world where what takes place some­where else on the globe has a very good chance of affecting us, along with many others. The pandemic, of course, is a useful – if sobering – ex­ample. A virus...

read more
Texans urged to roll up their sleeves

Texans urged to roll up their sleeves

Gov. Greg Abbott and other Texas leaders are rolling up their sleeves to get the COVID-19 vaccine and to encourage the public to follow suit. “I will never ask any Texan to do something that I’m not willing to do myself,” Abbott said before getting vaccinated at a...

read more
Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus

Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus

Frances Pharcellus Church – New York Sun – 9/21/1897 “DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old. “Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. “Papa says, ‘If you see it in THE SUN it’s so.’“Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus? “VIRGINIA O’HANLON.“115 WEST...

read more
Get your flu shot, governor says

Get your flu shot, governor says

While scientists race to develop a CO­VID-19 vaccine, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is urg­ing everyone to get a flu shot. Texans need to do their part to keep moving forward the state’s recovery from the pan­demic, the governor said. Last week, he also eased restrictions...

read more
Pandemic messes with Texas, prompts new message

Pandemic messes with Texas, prompts new message

Even during a pandemic, it’s best to not mess with Texas. Texas Department of Trans­portation officials noticed more personal protective equipment -- face masks, wipes and gloves -- on the side of roads and high­ways, so they called in the big guns for a new round of...

read more
High-tech Lincoln Logs turn heads in Texas

High-tech Lincoln Logs turn heads in Texas

Trees are almost as old as dirt in the con­struction industry, but they’re new to Texas in the form of the state’s first mass timber office building. The Texas project generat­ing the buzz is The Soto, which opened last week at Eighth and Broadway streets in San...

read more