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Garnishment Mistakes

I have written more than once about how vital it is that if a consumer is sued by a debt collector, they take certain actions immediately. The earlier a consumer fights back, the better the odds are that their case will have a positive outcome. I have also written about undoing old judgments, some as old as ten years. Unfortunately, sometimes when I meet a consumer they already lost their case years ago and the methods we would use to ask the court for a do-over of the case do not apply.
What do we do then?

Then, we try to challenge the garnishment.

If a judgment has been entered against a consumer, a creditor will usually try to find out where the consumer works and then seek to garnish their paycheck, seek a court order ordering their employer to set aside a portion of each pay check and send it to the debt collector. No single step in garnishing a paycheck is particularly complicated but there are a lot of small steps which are required and each step has to be followed precisely or the garnishment is improper and may be reversed. By the time a debt collector gets around to garnishing a paycheck they usually become carless and they make mistakes in the garnishment process a substantial amount of the time.

I met with a new client today who had an old case. The usual methods we use to fight old cases could not be used to help our client and they had just been garnished. We looked over the garnishment process with a fine tooth comb and found several small mistakes. We contacted the debt collector and confronted them with the mistakes, rather than dealing with the fight involved in fixing the garnishment, they agreed to give our client a substantially reduced settlement of the money they owed.

Our client lost, they absolutely owed the money and it was far too try to re-fight the case, but thanks to some mistakes made by the debt collectors, we could if needed mount a fight over those mistakes and leveraged that into getting our client very favorable settlement terms.

If you have a case, even if you are being garnished, it may not be too late to fight back. Debt collectors perform most of their work in a semi-automated fashion, they are careless and they make mistakes in the garnishment process all the time. Contact an attorney and see if those mistakes can be used to your advantage.

This document has been provided for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be construed to constitute legal advice. Please consult your attorney in connection with any legal issues related to the matters discussed in this article as the applicability of state, local and federal laws may vary.