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We're the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a U.S. government agency that makes sure banks, lenders, and other financial companies treat you fairly.

Learn how the CFPB can help you

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:
If you've had a problem with debt collection, you can submit a complaint online or by calling (855) 411-2372.
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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.