Your wages could be garnished for a number of reasons ranging from owed child support payments, back taxes, or student loan debt that has gone unpaid. If you've discovered that your wages are being garnished, it can be detrimental to your disposable income and could take a long time before your debts are repaid. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to stop or even prevent a garnishment from occurring if you know your rights.
Work It Out
Many times, people simply forget about some of their debts and are not alerted about it until they see a smaller paycheck. If you are dealing with a wage garnishment, call your creditor immediately to ask about working out a repayment plan that will work with your budget. If they agree, be sure you get it in writing and ask that they cease from the garnishment. Just be sure you begin making the newly promised payments immediately or else you could fall victim to garnishment all over again.
While bankruptcy is not always an ideal way to handle a wage garnishment, it will stop it from occurring. Depending on the amount of money you owe, filing may be a better alternative than having money taken out of your paycheck each week. The bankruptcy process will work for most debt such as loans or large medical bills, but child support is not applicable in this case. If you have a lot of debt and are concerned that the garnishment will be too much for your ability to pay necessary bills or rent, bankruptcy can be a viable choice.
Try To File An Appeal
Another option to get out of a wage garnishment is to file an appeal with the court. You will need to be able to prove that the amount of money being taken out from the garnishment will prevent you from paying other bills such as electricity, water, and even food. Get all of your other current bills together so you can present this information to the judge. If the court deems your garnishment too large for your current situation, they will either request the garnishment amount be reduced or attempt to have it stopped on your behalf. It is always recommended that you speak with a professional, like Sinsheimer, Stuart J, who can guide you through the process and explain your rights so you can get back to enjoying a complete paycheck.