A wage garnishment occurs when a creditor collects payment from your paycheck before you even see the money. It is the legal process wherein the court orders your employer to withhold or deduct your monetary compensation to pay your debt.
Usually, a wage garnishment happens in any type of debt but the usual debts resulting in garnishment are the following:
- unpaid court fines
- defaulted student loans
- child and spousal support or alimony
- failure to pay federal fines
- credit card debt
In cases like these, we can still work things out by making an arrangement or agreement with the other party (creditor or employer). Bankruptcy and/or the possibility of you filing for bankruptcy can really help your creditor come to an agreement with you.
Also, the court plays big role in this process. So you have to meet and communicate with your creditor and come to an agreement as soon as possible BEFORE you are taken to court. Good negotiation could be the best way to prevent a wage garnishment judgement.
Sometimes, there is simply no way you can work out a good solution with a creditor. Your only option may be filing bankruptcy. Bankruptcy can stop most judgements and/or wage garnishments.
The problem with wage garnishments is this. The creditor already got a judgement (likely a default judgement) against you. Your abilty to argue that you do not owe the debt, or that the debt is unfair or not as much as the creditor argues is gone.
If you have no real assets or anything significant to give a creditor, you could still come up with an agreement with the creditor even after the judgement is rendered against you.
The reason for this is that you could discharge a judgement by fiing chapter 7 bankruptcy (subject to a few exceptions).
If you have creditors moving against your wages, you need to at least consider bankruptcy. You can save a lot of money and simply eliminate the debt by filing. During bankruptcy, you will still have the protections of the automatic stay, where creditors cannot sue you or attempt to collect payments against you.
For more information about wage garnishments, please contact our office at (509) 927-3840.