Here’s the scoop on four common questions about debt

By Steve Bucci Bankrate.com

Here are answers to some of the most common questions on dealing with debt.

Should I borrow from my 401(k) or IRA to pay off debt?

By jumping ahead directly to solutions, you might end up solving the symptom but never addressing the cause of your problem. My suggestion is to fix today’s problems with today’s resources and look forward to a better life tomorrow.

My ex-spouse was assigned certain debts in our divorce, but is not paying and is ruining my credit. What can I do?

If you are a joint owner on the account, the creditor is within its legal rights to attempt to collect the debt from you, and the charge-off for this debt will stay on your credit report. Ask your attorney about having the court hold your ex in contempt for not living up to his divorce decree.

Are my Social Security benefits protected from bank levy or garnishment?

The U.S. Department of the Treasury requires banks to protect federal benefits from being garnished. But in order for the federal benefits to qualify for protection, they must be directly deposited into the bank account, and the protected amount is restricted to the total of the previous two months of benefits deposited immediately preceding the garnishment order.

Will my fiancee’s creditors come after me for her bills after we are married?

Any debts that were incurred before the marriage remain the sole responsibility of the owner of the debt after the marriage. Should your new bride’s creditors sue in court to collect and receive a judgment, it could be used to garnish a joint bank account that you share with her.