Creditors' Right to Garnish Wages
When you have defaulted on certain types of debt or have failed to pay for certain types of services, the person or corporation to whom you owe money can go to court and seek to obtain an order to garnish your wages. This order can then be used to draw up to 25 percent of your paycheck until the amount that you owe has been paid back. If a creditor serves a writ of garnishment on your employer, the garnishment amount will then be deducted from your wages, thereby placing an added drain on a paycheck which is probably already being spread too thin.
Wage Garnishment Is Not a Good Solution
Whether you are being sued for bad debt or if you are already losing money to a wage garnishment, you can come to The Law Offices of Justin McMurray, P.A. for help from an Ocala bankruptcy attorney. Depending on the stage of the case, we can either represent you in collections defense in court, or we may help you declare bankruptcy as a way of putting an end to your problems with debt. Wage garnishment may be an effective way of recovering payment from people who refuse to pay their debts, but in most cases it is used against someone who would pay if they could, but who are at a point where they simply cannot afford to do so. In such cases, wage garnishment often acts as the final straw that tips the person over the edge into a financial crisis.
Strategies for Stopping Wage Garnishment
One approach for defending against wage garnishment is to file a Head of Household affidavit. If your weekly income is lower than a certain level and you are the primary wage earner for your family, your wages cannot be garnished. Another approach is to declare bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. As soon as you file your petition in court, you will be protected by an automatic stay against creditor actions including wage garnishment, vehicle repossession and even foreclosure. The automatic stay does not apply to certain types of garnishments such as for unpaid child support, but it is effective for most others.