A very real concern of our clients and of debtors in general is the possibility of a wage garnishment. This is when a creditor begins collections on a judgment against a debtor by withholding up to (but never more than) 25% of the debtor’s paycheck to pay off their debt.
Garnishments don’t just appear after a single missed payment. There is a multi-step process that has to ultimately end in a judgment against you before the creditor can proceed with garnishing a debtor’s wages. There will be collections calls and letters and the debt may get sold more than once to a law firm that specializes in collecting debt. At that point, many debtors will find themselves facing the business end of a court judgment. This is when the wage garnishment tends to begin.
Wages can only be garnished by a single creditor for a certain amount of time. After this time period has elapsed, other creditors are given the opportunity to garnish (if there are any). If there are no other creditors who wish to garnish, the original creditor can begin garnishing again and the cycle repeats. This can go on until the creditor has been paid in full.
There are multiple avenues a debtor can take to prevent or stop wage garnishments. Bankruptcy is one of them. Filing for bankruptcy ceases garnishments immediately. A quick and effective way of stopping the cuts to your paycheck. Even better is that depending on the garnishment amount and the time-frame, your Kain & Scott bankruptcy attorney may be able to return those garnished wages to you!
As with everything, your first step when facing wage garnishment or even the potential for a wage garnishment is to schedule a consultation with an experienced attorney to learn about all of your options before making any decisions.
Get all the information you need on garnishments and bankruptcies by requesting a FREE, NO OBLIGATION consultation with a Kain & Scott bankruptcy attorney today. Find the information to set up an appointment at www.kainscott.com.