A Guide to Wage Garnishment
Your wages can be garnished if you owe back taxes, child support, or if a judgment has been entered against you that you cannot pay in full. It can be really stressful when your monthly paycheck is reduced. Occasionally you will find creditors that will threaten wage garnishment if you fail to make a payment. Truth is, in order for creditors to garnish your wages, they need a valid court order. Here is a basic rundown about wage garnishment.
What is a wage garnishment?
When many people think of the term “garnish” they probably imagine that bit of greenery on your plate that is barely edible. Unfortunately, wage garnishment is a common method of debt collection employed by aggressive creditors.
A wage garnishment is when a court order is filed against you for money you owe. The court sends notification to your employer who then withholds a certain amount from your paycheck and sends that money to person you owe money to. This happens until your debt is paid off. The wage garnishment can only be a certain percentage of your net income (after taxes), but the max amount they can take out is dependent on your state laws.
Leinart Law Firm has helped many clients with their debt and stopped wage garnishment in its tracks. It is important that if you believe someone is trying to garnish your wages, you need to talk to an experienced debt attorney right away.
If you have had a wage garnishment judgment ordered against you, you may be confused, afraid, or unsure about what that means for your future. Leinart Law Firm and our team of experienced attorneys are happy to assist you in learning about a wage garnishment judgment and informing you of your options moving forward.
Wage Garnishment Laws
There are Federal laws in place that limit how much creditors can take out of your paycheck. The amount is limited to 25 percent of your disposable earnings (after mandatory deductions) or the amount by which your weekly earnings exceed 30 times the minimum wage, whichever is lower. These limits vary by state as well.
Title III of the Consumer Credit Protection Act requires that you be left with enough to live on. But for many that are living paycheck to paycheck, even a small amount that is garnished can have big consequences. There are some types of funds that are protected from garnishment, but this area can get a bit complicated. If you have specific questions, it is best to ask your attorney.
How Can I Dispute a Garnishment of Wages?
If you want to dispute a wage garnishment, you have to file papers with the court. An experienced attorney familiar in debt and bankruptcy would be a great place to start. At the court hearing, you can present evidence stating that you cannot pay the garnishment amount due to financial hardship. The judge then may decide to end the wage garnishment or leave it in place.
How Do I Know I Have a Wage Garnishment?
It is required that you are notified of a wage garnishment is filed against you. For a wage garnishment to occur, the lender or creditor has to file a lawsuit against you. You will be served with the paperwork informing you of where and when your court hearing is scheduled. If you get notice of a lawsuit being filed against you, it is crucial that you seek legal advice right away. A wage garnishment would never occur without notice to you beforehand.
How Do I Stop Wage Garnishment Judgment?
Once a judgment has been made, it is hard to overturn. You have a few options in order to satisfy the judgment. Your first choice is to pay off the debt as fast as possible so your income will no longer be deducted. You can also contact a debt attorney to provide you with more options that may be available to you.
How to Avoid Wage Garnishment
When you believe you are at risk of wage garnishment, the key to avoiding it is acting early. If you are able to speak to a debt professional before things get to wage garnishment, it is much easier to turn things around. The court will not likely order a wage garnishment unless it is absolutely the last resort to try and collect a debt. When you work with a debt attorney, they can assist you in either putting together a payment plan to repay creditors or file for bankruptcy to help get your finances back in order.
Will Bankruptcy Stop Wage Garnishment?
Eliminating wage garnishment is a prime reason to initiate bankruptcy proceedings. Thanks to automatic stay regulations, creditors must cease all attempts to collect a debt once the appropriate paperwork has been filed, which gives debtors a chance to get their finances back on track without impeding necessary daily expenses.
However, certain types of debts must continue to be paid throughout the bankruptcy process. These“priority debts” often fall outside the purview of the automatic stay. A reliable bankruptcy attorney can help you understand the limits of the automatic stay and help you restructure loan agreements when possible.
Avoid Wage Garnishment in Texas – Contact Leinart Law Firm
In today’s troubled economy, garnishing wages only makes difficult financial situations worse. If you’ve had your wages garnished and are having difficulty making ends meet, filing for bankruptcy may be the best way to restore your financial balance. To learn more about bankruptcy and wage garnishment, contact Leinart Law Firm to learn how we can help you.