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Question xfer US SS Direct Deposit from US to BDO

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I currently have my SS benefits direct deposited to my Wells Fargo account in the US.  I also use my "Traveling Mailbox" address in San Francisco for my US mailing address.  I then wire money (online) to BDO joint checking account from my Wells Fargo.  My dependent's SS benefits is already setup at BDO with my wife listed as "Payee" and son as "Beneficiary".  Each month, she must go to the same branch to xfer money from dependent's BDO account (passbook account) into our BDO joint checking account.  This is such a pain, since BDO requires it must be the exact branch in person for any transactions.  No online access or other branch as an option.

Now I received letter at my US mailbox that Wells Fargo is suing me for past due credit card account at San Francisco Superior Court.  They have until May 28th to serve me papers.  I previously sent them 2 response letters in Aug and Oct 2018 notifying them my only income is from SS.  SS has a form letter for such a situation stating SS benefits are exempt from account freezes or garnishment.  The only exceptions are child support, taxes or student loans.  I have none of the above.  Yet they (collection agency representing Wells Fargo) continue to pursue collection by filing lawsuit.  It's $4,500 USD plus legal fees, which I can't afford to pay back.  I did not have any income in 2017 while my SSDI benefits were being processed.  My benefits are just enough to life month to month and save about $200 USD towards my children's education (dependent's account).

They (collection agency and bank) think my residency is in San Francisco because of my US mailbox address listed for all US businesses.  I'm a permanent resident of Philippines (unknown to them) so that makes serving me papers difficult.  However, my sister (para-legal) said they can petition the court to publish notice in news paper or in court bulletin board in lieu of physical notice of service.

Long story short, my father advised that I simply change my direct deposit to bank here in the Philippines.  I'm now running into same problem as happened with my dependent's account.  BDO requires that direct deposit account (USD) must be passbook account and that I must go to the exact branch to conduct any transactions.  In addition, they can't link the account with my joint checking account (PHP).

This is extremely inconvenient and if an emergency occurs or I must travel to the US, I won't be able to access those funds.  I have a US based credit card, with $2,500 limit.  That is only option in my current situation should I require access to emergency funds.

Has anyone else run into this problem or could offer a solution?  I'm living month to month and can't afford any delays in receiving benefits.

BTW - Off topic, my wife told me a family friend who is OFW (Canada) came here to file police report because 1M PHP is missing from her BDO account (wired from overseas).  It was obviously an inside job.  I'm always diligent with my bank accounts and credit cards to make sure there are no unauthorized transactions every month.

Thanks!

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Well.... good luck with direct payments of benefits into a BDO account. 

I decided to give it a go last month.... still WAITING to see it credited.  The money was definitely sent by the UK State Pension people... about 3 weeks ago.

Screw Phils banking.  I've changed back again for my next payments.... to a trustworthy and reliable bank back home.

As far as your debts go. Life is short. They (certainly in the UK anyway) will not consider it worth their while to pursue you if overseas, so maybe better to let them know that you ARE ...permanently.... and that you've no money.

The debt collection company will desist, and go after easier pickings. 

Worrying about it won't put the money in your pocket to pay them, ,  so  get on with your life.  

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, ITGeek said:

I currently have my SS benefits direct deposited to my Wells Fargo account in the US.  I also use my "Traveling Mailbox" address in San Francisco for my US mailing address.  I then wire money (online) to BDO joint checking account from my Wells Fargo.  My dependent's SS benefits is already setup at BDO with my wife listed as "Payee" and son as "Beneficiary".  Each month, she must go to the same branch to xfer money from dependent's BDO account (passbook account) into our BDO joint checking account.  This is such a pain, since BDO requires it must be the exact branch in person for any transactions.  No online access or other branch as an option.

Now I received letter at my US mailbox that Wells Fargo is suing me for past due credit card account at San Francisco Superior Court.  They have until May 28th to serve me papers.  I previously sent them 2 response letters in Aug and Oct 2018 notifying them my only income is from SS.  SS has a form letter for such a situation stating SS benefits are exempt from account freezes or garnishment.  The only exceptions are child support, taxes or student loans.  I have none of the above.  Yet they (collection agency representing Wells Fargo) continue to pursue collection by filing lawsuit.  It's $4,500 USD plus legal fees, which I can't afford to pay back.  I did not have any income in 2017 while my SSDI benefits were being processed.  My benefits are just enough to life month to month and save about $200 USD towards my children's education (dependent's account).

They (collection agency and bank) think my residency is in San Francisco because of my US mailbox address listed for all US businesses.  I'm a permanent resident of Philippines (unknown to them) so that makes serving me papers difficult.  However, my sister (para-legal) said they can petition the court to publish notice in news paper or in court bulletin board in lieu of physical notice of service.

Long story short, my father advised that I simply change my direct deposit to bank here in the Philippines.  I'm now running into same problem as happened with my dependent's account.  BDO requires that direct deposit account (USD) must be passbook account and that I must go to the exact branch to conduct any transactions.  In addition, they can't link the account with my joint checking account (PHP).

This is extremely inconvenient and if an emergency occurs or I must travel to the US, I won't be able to access those funds.  I have a US based credit card, with $2,500 limit.  That is only option in my current situation should I require access to emergency funds.

Has anyone else run into this problem or could offer a solution?  I'm living month to month and can't afford any delays in receiving benefits.

BTW - Off topic, my wife told me a family friend who is OFW (Canada) came here to file police report because 1M PHP is missing from her BDO account (wired from overseas).  It was obviously an inside job.  I'm always diligent with my bank accounts and credit cards to make sure there are no unauthorized transactions every month.

Thanks!

A collection agency cannot garnish your Social Security for a debt. That's Federal Law. You don't have to show up at any court procedures the Judge will see that your funds are Social Security and not let the creditor proceed. All banks know that it is against the law to garnish social security payments from your account. As you said they can come after you for student loans, child support payments and back taxes that's it. 

https://money.usnews.com/money/retirement/articles/2015/09/17/is-my-social-security-safe-from-debt-collectors

Edited by Ram1957
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4 hours ago, Ram1957 said:

A collection agency cannot garnish your Social Security for a debt. That's Federal Law. You don't have to show up at any court procedures the Judge will see that your funds are Social Security and not let the creditor proceed. All banks know that it is against the law to garnish social security payments from your account. As you said they can come after you for student loans, child support payments and back taxes that's it. 

https://money.usnews.com/money/retirement/articles/2015/09/17/is-my-social-security-safe-from-debt-collectors

Your story, to me is one of the reasons I simplified my life when I retired here. I made sure that all of my ducks were in a row before I came. I left the rat race behind in 2002. Good luck to you though.:wave:

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7 hours ago, graham59 said:

Screw Phils banking.  I've changed back again for my next payments.... to a trustworthy and reliable bank back home.

 

That's my plan when  the time comes - UK pension into UK bank and then transfer lump sum to my bank here as and when needed.  

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Most likely the debt was sold to a company that will try to recover as much as they can.

Personally l would do nothing and never reply. 

I could not see the amount owed worth it for them to go further. 

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things you can control.jpg

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Perhaps make the collection agency a small settlement offer. Inform them that you know there’s no other way they can ever collect? 

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4 hours ago, Jollygoodfellow said:

Most likely the debt was sold to a company that will try to recover as much as they can.

Personally l would do nothing and never reply. 

I could not see the amount owed worth it for them to go further. 

I agree.  Creditors sell these debts to collection companies for pennies on the dollar, so the collection company will go all out to get nickels from you.  Big profit for them.

I had a lease on a medical device and it said in the lease, when you pay XX lease payments, you own the device and don't pay anymore.  So they crossed their wires, determined I owed them XX dollars, and sold it to a collector.  Nasty people.  This was after I moved to PH and they were sending nastygrams to my sister's house in California.  I sent them a letter explaining the situation but could not give a F.  They finally gave up after a year or 18 months.

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14 hours ago, ITGeek said:

BDO requires that direct deposit account (USD) must be passbook account and that I must go to the exact branch to conduct any transactions.  In addition, they can't link the account with my joint checking account (PHP).

Actually, most of this stems SS requirements that the banks have to follow.  Then the banks add their local nonsensical twists.  SS is probably the one requiring no ATM accounts, only passbook.

Our BPI branch manager thought we could add my kids SS direct deposit passbook accounts to our online accounts.  She even sat down at the computer and did it with us.  It never went through.  I don't think passbook accounts are designed for online access.

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