If you’re significantly delinquent on your debts then you’re probably at risk for a wage garnishment. Creditors are becoming more aggressive when it comes to collecting on even small amounts of debts and wage garnishment is just one of their many collection tools. Here’s what you need to know:
- Don’t ignore the notices you receive from your creditor. One of those notices could be informing you of a pending lawsuit. If you find out that you are being sued, take the time to respond and show up to court. You have a right to defend yourself against creditor lawsuit. You can also file bankruptcy which will stop the lawsuit immediately.
- Come to court prepared. Is the amount that they say you owe correct? Do you really owe this debt? The creditor filing the lawsuit is obligated by law to prove that you in fact owe the debt; but oftentimes they don’t have the proof. If they don’t have proof that you owe this debt, then they will not be able to win a judgment and they will not be able to use a wage garnishment against you.
- If a creditor is able to win a judgment against you and tries to get a wage garnishment, know your rights. First off, don’t go into hiding. If you’re working, they will find you and garnish your wages. First off know that if you are earning less than $217.50 a week they cannot garnish your wages. If you earn $290 a week or less, they can only get a wage garnishment for 10 percent of your income or whatever you earn above $217.50 a week, they must choose whichever is less. If you earn more than $290 a week, they can garnish up to 25 percent of your earnings. However, they cannot garnish so much of your money that it prevents you from paying essential things such as your rent, utilities or child support payments.
Remember, even if you are already suffering from a wage garnishment, filing bankruptcy will stop the garnishment. Once you are approved for a bankruptcy discharge, the garnishment will be eliminated and the associated debt will be discharged.
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