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Can my military pension or VA benefits be garnished?

I have a car that has been repossessed. They say that i owe the remaining balance of $8,000. I lost my job. They say they can garnish my wages and I ...

I have a car that has been repossessed. They say that i owe the remaining balance of $8,000. I lost my job. They say they can garnish my wages and I am retired from the military. They say they can take my military check. Is this true?

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  • Judgment-creditors cannot, generally speaking, garnish VA benefits or military pensions.
  • Administrative garnishment for child or spousal support may be allowed.

Generally speaking, VA benefits and military pensions are not subject to execution, levy, attachment, garnishment, or other legal process. However, there are exceptions for child support and support of divorced spouses.

Active military and other federal employees are subject to garnishment for what the federal government calls "commercial debt." However, I can find no laws that allow garnishment of military pensions or VA benefits, aside from the IRS’ authority to do so.

Direct-deposit your pension benefits into a separate account that contains funds from no other sources. Ask your bank or credit union to place a notation on that account stating the funds in that account are pension benefits not subject to attachment.

See the resource Military Debt Consolidation to learn how to resolve debt if you are an active service member.

I hope this information helps you Find. Learn & Save.



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  • JP
    Clarksville, TN,
    Sep, 2011
    Can the military PX known as Army Airforce Exchange System garnish my tax refund if I am no longer in the military and became retired?
    • BA
      Sep, 2011
      My experience with military justice is nil, and my study of it is slight. Consult with a JAG to learn more about your liability for PX-related debt, and what, if any, administrative action the PX can take to garnish your military pension or IRS tax return.
    • SW
      San Diego, CA,
      Feb, 2012
      If you have a military exchange account, ie Military Star, and are retired military. If you do not do any payments for awhile, about 4 months, the military exchange can and will do an allotment thru defense finance to force payment and defense finance will deduction a fair amount to pay the military exchange store. Your pension will be reduced that amount until your past due amount is paid up. I know that military exchange and will do that because it happened to me with my military pension. I am retired from the US Navy is why i know and experienced this.