If you haven’t read Trip down Going Postal Lane – Part 1… stop here and read it first!!
Oh for God’s sake! You are not going to believe this. I just called the Social Security office (at 6:30 am) this morning and here’s how the conversation went.
“Sheila” answered the phone…. I go through the whole story about how I received a wage garnishment notice – how the money is in the bank and they just have to take it – and she says “well ma’am, you’ll just have to send that money back.”
Wait…. it gets worse.
I explain to her that they, (Social Security /Treasury Department) have a hold on my money and that I can’t send the money back unless they release it. Next she tells me, “We do have you set up for a wage garnishment.” Well, no duh! Why do you think I’m calling you at 6:30 am on a Monday? Finally she realizes this is above her brilliant-sentence limit and transfers me to a “specialist.”
Next I’m connected to Special Agent Kathy who has me hold for a good 5-minutes while she looks over her information. Then she proceeds to tell me that I called the Social Security office in November to make payment arrangements – and that I hadn’t made a payment since December (remember Cruella DeVille from the last post), so it is automatically sent to be collected with wage garnishment. So after a few more minutes of HER telling ME what was going on – I asked if she would like to hear my version of the story.
I explained to her that the only reason I made a payment arrangement was because they started sending me notices saying that they would retain IRS refunds, garnish checks, etc. Since I couldn’t get them or my bank to send the money back – and I couldn’t send it back because of the hold, I felt like it was the only thing I could do. Furthermore, when I contacted them again about sending my bank a letter asking them to take the hold off my account – that very helpful Cruella DeVille had told me that I couldn’t make a payment arrangement and they never should have set it up (see Trip down Going Postal Lane – part one).
So, she proceeds to tell me that they don’t have a hold on my account – that I need to contact my bank because they CAN’T hold my money. Really? Check my bank balance and compare it to the available balance! I explained to her that it seemed to me that everyone was passing the buck and that no one was willing to take responsibility for this situation that was out of my control; that I HAD talked to Social Security, my bank, and the king of the treasury department – and everyone says “It’s not ME!” Well, we know it’s not THIS me – because I would not willingly put myself in this ridiculous situation.
Next she says that since I have a payment arrangement and I haven’t paid it since December, they CAN’T stop the wage garnishment order. I just about lost it here folks. I think I asked her if they had any common sense laying around that they might be able to use.
She tells me that “what YOU need to do is contact your bank and tell them to look in the ‘green book’ (wonder if that is symbolism for the color of money they ‘don’t’ hold) and that they should look at the instructions. So I ask her if there is a number where I can call her back if I have any other questions – and she says no. I say “of course not.” So she promises to put a note on the file so if I call back I will be routed to a “specialist”. I’d hate to be routed to an amateur.
At this point, does anyone REALLY think they want their money? I think there is something more sinister going on … maybe if they can make me crazy now, I can never collect my own Social Security payments. I’ve got news for them – if I go crazy, I’m leaving instructions on filing disability so someone else can go crazy with me.
Well – standby for more exciting adventures down Going Postal Lane… it’s leading to the bank.