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A 76 year old woman, S.W., received a notice from a car dealership about a debt that was owed, notifying her that they would be seeking payment very soon. She didn't think too much of it, because it wasn't her debt and she assumed it was just a mistake. S.W. has a 53 year old daughter who has been listed on her bank account for quite some time. It turned out that S.W.'s daughter was the one who owed the debt to the car dealership, and that debt had been delinquent for over 20 years. The car dealership went into S.W.'s bank account and took $1,000 out of her checking account and $9,000 out of her saving account which left S.W. sixteen cents total in the bank.
S.W. was in distress. She was a recipient of Social Security benefits and had saved that money from her monthly payments. She came to Rappahannock Legal Services, where her attorney was able to show that all funds and activity in the bank account came from S.W. and her Social Security benefits, which are exempt from such garnishment. Although her daughter was listed on the account, these funds were not hers and the daughter actually had no dealings with the account. A check has been released from the dealership’s bank to S.W. for all of her funds which had been unlawfully taken from her account. The dealership will have to pursue S.W.'s daughter for the debt that she owes them.