Behm Law Group, Bankruptcy Attorneys

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Handling Social Security Overpayments Through Bankruptcy

November 17th, 2019 · No Comments

If you’re retired or disabled, you’re most likely receiving social security payments from the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA), and it may also be likely that those checks are your main source of income.

If you’re struggling with debts and on a strict budget, you may need to find debt relief through filing for bankruptcy. If you do choose to file for bankruptcy, you can find guidance and protection with the help of Behm Law Group, Ltd. Our attorneys can help you build a strong case and file a successful bankruptcy in New Ulm, MN.

When you file for bankruptcy relief, all your financial information is pertinent to the trustee assigned to your case. This might even include overpayments made through the social security system.

SSA Overpayments

When the SSA issues checks, there are occasions when they make an overpayment to a retired or disabled individual. You may not even be aware of that overpayment, and you may never be unless the SSA requests a repayment of that overpayment or if you file for bankruptcy. In the event you file for bankruptcy, these overpayments are considered debts you owe back to the SSA. While this seems unfair, these debts can still be discharged in the bankruptcy process.

Overpayment Debt

If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your debts will be discharged in exchange for the liquidation of your non-exempt assets. Most government debts, like unpaid taxes or criminal fines are not subject to discharge. However, SSA overpayment debts can be discharged and most likely will be because they are treated as unsecured debts, just like your credit card and medical debt.

If you file for Chapter 13, an overpayment debt will only have to be repaid partially, depending on how large your chapter 13 plan payments are. The amount you’ll have to repay will be included in a three-to-five-year repayment plan along with the rest of your reorganized debts.

Discharge Objection

The SSA can object to the discharge of your overpayment debts if they can prove you are abusing the system or committing fraud. For example, if you’ve provided false information on your case documents or SSA applications, your discharge may be rejected.

If you’re unable to make a repayment to the SSA on the grounds of overpayment debt, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. today for more information about filing for bankruptcy in New Ulm, MN, at (507) 387-7200.

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