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If you have unpaid financial obligations, your creditor could potentially obtain a wage garnishment against you. A wage garnishment is an order that requires your employer to withhold a certain amount of your paycheck and pay it directly to your creditor, who will apply it towards the amount you owe. While this is usually reserved for things like unpaid child support or back taxes, credit card companies could potentially use a wage garnishment against you if they obtain a court order.
The Fort Lauderdale bankruptcy lawyers at Loan Lawyers can help you fight back against your charges. With more than 100 years of combined experience, we have helped more than 5,000 people with their debt issues and protected their rights as consumers. We understand how stressful financial struggles can be, and we are dedicated to helping you find the fastest and most effective solution to your needs in order to help you rebuild your credit and get your life back on track. We offer high-quality counsel that takes pride in both our ability and our professionalism, making you feel comfortable throughout the process.
If you receive notice that you have been issued a wage garnishment, act now and call Loan Lawyers today at (844) 344-4813 for a free case evaluation!
When Can My Wages Be Garnished?
If you default on a loan or financial obligation that was issued under public order, such as student loan debt, tax debt, or child support, you can potentially have your wages garnished without ever having a court case brought against you, giving you little chance to fight back and present your side of the story.
If you are notified that you are having your earnings garnished through one of these agencies, speak with an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options:
- Child or spousal support: If you were ordered to pay child support any time after 1988, your order automatically includes a wage withholding order. Alimony payments do not necessarily have the same order, however they could if alimony and child support are combined into a single family support order.
- Student loans: The U.S. Department of Education has the right to issue a wage garnishment if you are in default on a student loan. You will be notified in writing of how much you owe, how to enter a repayment schedule, and how to request a hearing on your garnishment at least 30 days before it is set to begin. You should use this opportunity to review your options with a bankruptcy lawyer.
- Back taxes: This is arguably the worst of the three when it comes to federal wage garnishments. The IRS can take a big chunk or your paycheck and leave you with very little without getting a court order. Your first notice should come when your employer gives you a copy of the wage levy notice and an exemption form, which you should complete with the assistance of an attorney and return as soon as possible.
Non-public Creditor Garnishments
For most creditors like credit card companies or medical providers, issuing a wage garnishment is not quite so easy. They must first take you to court and sue you over the missing money, win, and then petition the court to issue a wage garnishment. This means you might not have your wages garnished even if you lose your case.
A garnishment will stay active until you repay the debt entirely or until you can have the order lifted in court. If you are having a wage garnishment issued against you, it’s important to remember that you have rights and they should be protected. For example, you are allowed to protect a portion of your wages through exemptions to the maximum extent of the law.
You may also choose to file bankruptcy, which immediately ceases all wage garnishment activity (though it may not necessarily absolve you from all debts). Whenever you face a wage garnishment, consult with an attorney as soon as possible to develop a plan for regaining your financial independence.
Our team is ready to help! Contact Loan Lawyers to begin reviewing your options.