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All You Need to Know About Wage Garnishment

Sep 27

Wage garnishment occurs when a creditor deducts money from an individual's wages in order to repay a debt. A wage garnishment is also sometimes referred to as a wage attachment. Most often, wage garnishments are issued for unpaid taxes, child support, or student loans. In some cases, creditors may also be able to garnish wages for unpaid credit card debt or medical bills.

How Does Wage Garnishment Work?

When a creditor decides to garnish wages, they will first file a lawsuit against the debtor. If the debtor loses the lawsuit or fails to show up for the court date, the court will issue a wage garnishment order. This order will then be sent to the debtor's employer, who will begin deducting money from the debtor's paycheck each week until the debt is paid off. 

In most cases, creditors can only garnish a certain percentage of an individual's wages. For example, if an individual owes $1,000 in unpaid credit card debt, the creditor may only be able to garnish $50 per week from their paycheck. 

It's important to note that wage garnishments can have a significant impact on an individual's ability to make ends meet. As such, individuals who are facing wage garnishments should seek legal counsel as soon as possible to explore their options and determine the best course of action. 

Wage Garnishment and Your Rights 

If you find yourself in a situation where your wages are being garnished, it's important to understand your rights and options. While wage garnishment can be a difficult process to go through, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your finances. By speaking with an attorney and exploring all of your options, you can ensure that you are taking the best possible course of action for your unique situation.

How to Prevent Wage Garnishment Before It Happens

Wage garnishment is a legal process that allows creditors to take a portion of your wages directly from your employer in order to repay a debt. In most cases, wage garnishment happens after you have failed to make payments on a debt for an extended period of time and the creditor has taken you to court. If the court grants the creditor’s request for wage garnishment, your employer will be required to withhold a certain amount of money from each of your paychecks and send it directly to the creditor.

Wage garnishment can be a major financial burden, as it can leave you with less money to cover your basic living expenses. If you are facing wage garnishment, there are some steps you can take to try to prevent it from happening.

Negotiate with Your Creditors 

If you are struggling to make payments on a debt, the first thing you should do is reach out to your creditors and try to negotiate a new payment plan that is more affordable for you. In some cases, creditors may be willing to work with you to lower your monthly payments or waive late fees so that you can get caught up on the debt. If you are able to reach an agreement with your creditors, be sure to get the agreement in writing so that you have evidence of the new terms if they ever try to take legal action against you.

Make Timely Payments

If you are currently making payments on a debt, make sure that you are doing so in a timely manner. Creditors are more likely to work with you if they see that you are making an effort to repay the debt. If possible, try to make payments that are larger than the minimum payment due each month so that you can pay off the debt more quickly.

Keep Detailed Records 

Keep track of all correspondence between you and your creditors, including any payment plans or agreements that you have made. This will ensure that you have evidence of what was agreed upon if there is ever any dispute about the terms of your repayment plan. Additionally, keep track of all payments that you make so that you can prove that you have upheld your end of the agreement if necessary.

Preventing wage garnishment before it happens is always preferable to dealing with it after the fact. If you are struggling to repay a debt, reach out to your creditors and try to negotiate a new payment plan. Make timely payments on all debts, and keep detailed records of all correspondence and transactions related to the debt. By taking these steps, you can reduce the likelihood of wage garnishment and protect yourself from potential financial hardship in the future.