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Can a credit card company garnish your Social Security and state retirement benefits or freeze your USA bank checking account while living abroad?

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All SS benefits are exempt from private creditor action (benefits may be garnished for back alimony, child support, unpaid federal taxes and amounts due other federal agencies), most pension/retirement plans are also protected, although it is possible to garnish a portion of certain types. In regards to a bank account, if the account(s) are within the U.S. and are not held by a married couple in a state that recognizes TBE protection; the accounts could be subject to creditor levy if said creditor was awarded a lawsuit judgment. As an aside, any non-exempt property belonging to the debtor could be seized and liquidated or if real property be subjected to a lien(s)and possibly a forced sale. The debtor/defendant does not have to present in the U.S. to have a creditor lawsuit initiated and ruled upon, the defendant can have a default judgment entered against him if the plaintiff prevails.
It is important to note that once a Social Security payment has been deposited into a bank account (either by check or direct deposit) it is no longer protected.
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