Debt Exemptions for Elderly on Fixed Income

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MCALLEN – The Better Business Bureau representative says seniors who find themselves in deep debt are entitled to exemptions and protections that many are unaware of.

The BBB says it’s not a free pass, but there is help.

They tell CHANNEL 5 NEWS they often get calls from seniors terrified of losing their property or having their fixed income garnished due to an outstanding debt.

Robert Obregon is the project coordinator of the Senior Medicare Patrol Program at the BBB. He says many of those seniors who are calling his office are on a fixed income.

He says in many cases the stress of mounting debt is causing them to have health issues. He explains that there are many senior exemptions that protect those on a fixed income.

“However, they're unaware that a lot of their a lot of their property, just for the fact that they are over 60 years old in the state of Texas, that certain pieces of property and certain items cannot be garnished or taken away from them in collection of a debt,” said Obregon.

Obregon says seniors’ social security, certain government pensions and medical equipment are also protected by senior exemptions.

He encourages seniors to question debt collectors about what senior exemptions they qualify for. He says debt collectors are required to provide that information.

Obregon does recommend that seniors visit the BBB or call the Texas State Attorney General’s Office to learn more about what’s available to them.

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