Bankruptcy Basics: What is Wage Garnishment? - Westgate Law

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Bankruptcy Basics: What is Wage Garnishment?

Individuals who consider filing for bankruptcy have many reasons. Some have experienced life altering career changes. Others have endured long term medical conditions resulting in astronomical, unexpected bills. Still others are simply aware that their credit card balances are never going to drop to an attainable level. And others are actually experiencing the pinch of not having enough money to live on – to cover the necessities due to wage garnishment.

What is Wage Garnishment?

If you have unpaid debts (such as past-due credit card bills, unpaid child support, past due taxes, etc.) creditors may be able to gain payment by having your paycheck garnished until the debt is paid in full. When wage garnishment is put in place, your employer is legally obligated to withhold some of your wages.

If you are experiencing wage garnishment, remember:

  • Garnishment of Wages and Salary is Limited: According to Federal Law, your employer is allowed to withhold a maximum of 25% of your paycheck for garnishments (after paying taxes). The maximum may be less if your income is low. If you make minimum wage or close to minimum wage, you may be able to keep more of your wages from garnishment.

Many who are experiencing the difficulties of wage garnishment will find relief through filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Not only will it protect your job by ending any potential for multiple wage garnishments, but filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy also results in a discharge of debt (child support and other court ordered payments/debt are NOT discharged). If you are suffering from a drastic decrease in pay as a result of wage garnishment, contact an expert bankruptcy attorney at Westgate Law today. We can advise you regarding how to stop all collective action immediately from your creditors and how to obtain the discharge of debt that would provide you with a fresh financial start.

About the Author

Justin Harelik

Justin has a singular goal: to get people out of financial distress and move them to financial stability and prosperity. He does this by combining 15 years of in-depth experience in bankruptcy, credit management, debt negotiation and student loan modifications, and he does it with both English and Spanish-speaking clients.

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