Creditors have a legal right to pursue their debtors for payment on loans and services rendered. When a debtor fails to pay, the creditor can go to court to sue for a judgment which will make it possible to recover payment through a wage garnishment. If you lose the lawsuit or fail to contest it, the creditor or debt collector can then serve a writ of garnishment on your employer, with the result that up to 25 percent of your income will be deducted before the paycheck reaches your hands. One way to stop a wage garnishment is to file a Head of Household affidavit, but this approach is only possible if your income is below a certain level. Otherwise, you will be forced to cope with the effect of having your already-strained income reduced even further.
Perpetuating a Debt Cycle
Wage garnishment may be useful in getting people who are willfully refusing to pay a debt to satisfy their financial obligations, but it is far from a perfect solution for most types of bad debt. The majority of people will pay back their debts whenever possible, and they only go into default when they absolutely cannot afford to pay on their loans. By garnishing your wages, the creditor may be forcing you into a situation of extreme economic hardship and may even push you over the line to the point where bankruptcy is your only option.
How to Prevent Wage Garnishment
The first step to preventing wage garnishment before it happens is to hire a Gainesville bankruptcy lawyer who can represent you in collections defense. It is often possible to defeat a debt lawsuit by placing the burden of proof on the plaintiff and making it difficult or impossible to establish that you actually owe them anything. If you are already the subject of a writ of garnishment, it is still possible to protect your paycheck.
Bankruptcy Can Stop Wage Garnishment
The moment you declare bankruptcy, an automatic stay will be imposed to protect you against creditor actions including garnishment, repossession and even foreclosure. By filing bankruptcy, you can not only keep all of your wages but may also be able to wipe out the underlying debt. The automatic stay does not apply to certain types of wage garnishment such as for child support, but it will be effective for most others. Contact The Law Offices of Justin McMurray, P.A. now for a free consultation to learn more about the process and to allow us to begin working on your case.