Wage garnishments are a legal remedy whereby a portion of your paycheck is withheld for payment of debt. Often through a court order, a creditor can legally take money from your paycheck to pay off a debt owed to them. If you’re receiving benefits such as stimulus checks, unemployment, or social security, this money is not necessarily protected. There are laws that oversee wage garnishments. These laws vary by state.
The wage garnishment process begins when a creditor sues their customer for an unpaid debt. If the court rules on their behalf, they get a judgement against the customer. That judgement gives them the legal authority to obtain a garnishment order. If the individual is employed, the court order is sent to an employer.
There is no 100% protection for any specific source of income. If you owe back taxes, child or spousal support, these debts are treated with priority. In these cases, a creditor doesn’t have to get the courts permission to garnish wages. Due to the pandemic, there were many protections intended to prevent financial hardship. Student loans were one such protection. The emergency relief for federal student loans will end after January 31st, 2022.
Understand that wage garnishments are a debt-related problem. You can’t ignore a lawsuit, nor can debt just go away on its own. With legal counsel, you can stop wage garnishments before they start. (This is ideal time to tackle the problem.) When a judgement exists, there may be just days until you notice a part of your check is missing. With timely debt advice, you can end the problems which cause the garnishments to begin with. Don’t ignore the root of the problem; get out of debt today.
Stopping a wage garnishment is temporary relief to a bigger debt problem. For many people, filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a lifesaver. After filing, the automatic stay will stop most wage garnishments. If the garnishment debts are dischargeable, then it can be erased during the bankruptcy process. This means you can obtain a completely fresh start. If you’re ready to file bankruptcy, then find a highly rated law firm near you.
The pandemic created a unique set of circumstances that made wage garnishments more complex. When wage garnishments are making it impossible for you to live, request a free initial consult with Debt Advisors. We offer credit counseling, bankruptcy services, and we stop wage garnishments. Our services are highly rated with clients, and nobody is ever turned away due to costs.