Can my bank or credit union charge me a fee for processing a garnishment if I receive Social Security or VA benefits?

Yes. Your bank can charge a garnishment fee, but only if you have more than 2 months’ worth of benefits in your account. If your account balance is less than 2 months’ worth of Social Security or VA benefits, your bank has to protect that amount – period. The bank can’t charge garnishment fees against this protected amount. The bank is not allowed to charge fees for this garnishment later, when you have more funds.

If you think your bank charged a garnishment fee when it shouldn’t have:

  • Call your bank and explain why you think the garnishment fee is wrong.
  • Consider seeking legal assistance. The Center for Elder Rights Advocacy can refer you to a local agency that provides free legal help to seniors who qualify. You can call the Center for Elder Rights Advocacy at: (866) 949-2372 or visit: LegalHotlines.org.
  • You can also find a lawyer in your state by visiting AskCFPB.
Was this page helpful to you?

Note: Do not include sensitive information like your name, contact information, account number, or social security number in this field.

The content on this page provides general consumer information. It is not legal advice or regulatory guidance. The CFPB updates this information periodically. This information may include links or references to third-party resources or content. We do not endorse the third-party or guarantee the accuracy of this third-party information. There may be other resources that also serve your needs.

Read full answer Hide full answer