How Can I Stop a Wage Garnishment?

Anyone who has ever dealt with a wage garnishment before knows that it can be a crushing financial blow. Money you’re earning never makes it into your own hands, let alone your bank account. Suddenly, a financial situation which was tough is much tougher, and the obligations begin to pile up and snowball. Therefore, it’s important to understand how to stop wage garnishments, or to otherwise fight against wage garnishment.

Before we discuss stopping wage garnishment, it’s important to clear up any lingering questions about what a wage garnishment actually is. Wage garnishments refer to automatic and direct deductions from income you’re earning via creditors whom you owe money to and have filed and won suit against you.

The amount or percentage of your income which they are able to garnish will vary based upon several factors, including your state’s specific regulations. Regardless of the degree or percentage though, it makes things incredibly difficult to manage, and has the unfortunate effect of keeping you always a step behind, instead of moving ahead.

Of course, one of the most common routes for how to stop a garnishment is filing bankruptcy. This produces immediate and long-term results for you, but is of course a major decision to make as it has such a large bearing on your overall financial picture.

One of the big upsides of filing bankruptcy is what is known as the “automatic stay”. How does this relate to stopping garnishments? The automatic stay goes into effect immediately when you file bankruptcy, and it prohibits the collection of debts by almost all of your creditors. This therefore by definition includes stopping wage garnishments.

Typically, creditors have to file a lawsuit against you and win their suit in order to put the garnishment in place. This is your opportunity to fight against it before it starts. Student loans do not need a lawsuit or court order to go into effect, however. After this time, you will also be able to fight to stop a garnishment by requesting a hearing date which may terminate a garnishment.

As in all legal and financial matters, it’s important to get the right assistance. Don’t try to navigate this difficult process on your own. An experienced bankruptcy attorney may be able to help you stop wage garnishment. They’ll be able to guide you through the process, show you what your best options are, and help you produce positive outcomes.