Let’s face it; if you owe enough money that one of your creditors has gone through the trouble to get a judgment against you then you are probably barely making enough to keep your head above water. In situations like this wage garnishment can be a devastating blow to cope with. However, creditors use it quite often because it obligates your employer to deduct a portion of your paycheck and give it directly to them.
How much of my wages can a creditor take?
The amount that each creditor can garnish varies depending on what state you are in. For instance, wage garnishment in Georgia generally removes about 25% of an employee’s gross wage and gives it to the creditor as recompense until the debt is cleared. This does not mean that each creditor with a garnishment action gets to take 25% of every check. In cases of multiple garnishments the creditors will have to take turns. One creditor will garnish your wages until their debt is retired and then the next creditor can step up and start collecting on their debt. Garnishment can be a very useful tool for a creditor to use but it puts people living from paycheck to paycheck at a serious disadvantage.
How can bankruptcy stop wage garnishment?
To give people filing for bankruptcy a little breathing room the Automatic Stay was instituted as part of the bankruptcy process. When you file for either Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy an automatic stay will go into effect and it will put an immediate halt to any attempts on the part of the creditor to collect on their debt while the bankruptcy is going forward. This will put a stop to any wage garnishment even if you have multiple garnishment actions in place at once.
What Should I do if my wages are being garnished?
Keep in mind that if you are being threatened with wage garnishment it will have absolutely no effect on your Social Security benefits. There are a few types of income that cannot be garnished and Social Security falls under that exemption. If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy as a way out of wage garnishment then you should consult a Hiram bankruptcy attorney. They can talk to you about your options and help to guide you through the process. Bankruptcy can be a long and complicated procedure but having a professional in your corner will make all the difference.