Wage Garnishments

“WomanFiling a bankruptcy is the one tried-and-true way of stopping a garnishment. A creditor may try to force you into some kind of settlement short of garnishment, but even if you have promised to settle, you can still wipe the debt out in bankruptcy. A garnishment starts with a lawsuit, and no matter what stage the suit is at, you can wipe the debt out with bankruptcy.

Once a garnishment starts, you are no longer able to pay the rest of your bills, and you may not even have enough money for food and rent.  Creditors can garnish 25 percent of your take-home pay.  Garnishment is a serious issue, and the threat of garnishment should not be ignored.  If you wait until you are being garnished to file bankruptcy, you have an emergency on your hands, and it will be difficult to get the necessary information together, take the creditor counseling class, and pay the fees needed to file. However, garnishment only gets worse, and if you are being garnished, bankruptcy is often the only solution. Legal fees pile up during a garnishment, and often, people find they get nowhere with the underlying debt because the amount being garnished does not even keep up with fees and interest.

A garnishment should not come out of nowhere. A creditor has to go through the steps of serving a lawsuit, giving you an opportunity to respond and obtaining a judgment before getting a writ to garnish your wages from the court. Do not ignore a law suit. Even if you just offer a simple answer, it will slow the process down. There are times when a creditor goes through the garnishment process without someone knowing it, but usually that is because some mistake occurred, like the papers were served on a roommate who didn’t let the debtor know about it. It’s possible a process server or even an attorney lied about serving the papers, though that is rare. Even if this is the case, a bankruptcy would probably be cheaper than fighting the judgment. If you know you owe at least something to that creditor, you probably will need to file a bankruptcy to deal with it once you are being sued.

Just remember that bankruptcy stops garnishments dead in their tracks.  You may even be able to recover funds garnished up to 60 days before you filed your case.

To stop your wage garnishment and file for bankruptcy, contact the experienced Seattle, WA bankruptcy attorneys at the Law Offices of Jason S. Newcombe today.

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