If your wages are currently being garnished, or if you are in danger of having them garnished, the attorneys at wh Law | We Help can stop the process. We have attorneys who specialize in bankruptcy, who will use the bankruptcy code to prevent your wages from being taken from you, once and for all.
A little known feature of the bankruptcy code, known as the “automatic stay,” can prevent your creditors from collecting any debt you owe, in addition to stopping your wages from being garnished. The automatic stay goes into effect as soon as you file for bankruptcy. It is a court order which stops all collection efforts against you. Wage garnishment is a collection on a previous judgment against you, and so your creditors must stop the garnishment. Creditors can ask the court to get rid of the stay, but it is incredibly rare for bankruptcy courts to do this.
Wage garnishment typically happens when a creditor has sued you and gotten a judgment against you for a debt you owed. Next, the creditor has to get a second court order allowing for a wage garnishment. Finally, the sheriff usually has to serve the garnishment order on your employer, who then withholds part of your check for your creditor.
There are a few exceptions to the automatic stay, in which case the garnishment would continue. The most notable, and most common, is garnishments for child support. Because of the government’s interest in making sure children are supported, wage garnishments for child support continue, even when the automatic stay is in place.
As soon as you file for bankruptcy, you must provide a list of your creditors to the court. The court will then send notice of your bankruptcy petition to your creditors, who must then stop all their collection efforts against you. You can speed up this process by delivering a copy of your bankruptcy filing directly to your creditors.
Most of the time, when your bankruptcy case ends, the court will discharge your debts. This means you’re no longer responsible for the discharged debts. What this means, is that your creditors won’t be able to go back to garnishing your wages.
There is something you can do. If you’re having trouble paying your bills or making ends meet because of a wage garnishment, we can help. The first step to getting your creditors off your back, and stopping your wages from getting garnished, is giving us a call. If you need help you can text or call.