When you fall behind on credit card bills, loan payments, or even your mortgage, your creditors may seek a court issue allowing them to take a portion of your paycheck to repay your outstanding debt. This is known as wage garnishment. While this legal action may seem intimidating, the good news is that you can stop it with the help of a St. Petersburg bankruptcy attorney. Understanding how wage garnishment works is the most effective way to stop creditors from touching your paycheck.
What You Need to Know About Wage Garnishment
There are only two ways to stop wage garnishment. The first is to clear all your debts, which are what triggered wage garnishment in the first place. For most individuals, this isn’t a feasible option, as the debts were so bad that you had trouble keeping up with the various bills. The second way to stop wage garnishment is through the automatic stay that is applied during bankruptcy. Working with a bankruptcy attorney will help you keep every hard-earned penny so that you can control your finances as you see fit. Other interesting facts about wage garnishment include:
- It may not follow you from job to job. Your creditors must seek approval from the court in order to take a certain amount from your paycheck from your current employer. If you switch jobs, the actual wage garnishment itself cannot follow to your new workplace, unless your creditors seek court approval once again. The only downside is that moving from job to job is unfeasible and that any severance package could be garnished. It’s far better to approach the problem head-on with a bankruptcy attorney than to run from it.
- Your spouse’s debts could be garnished. If you reside in a state where your assets are legally shared as a married couple, then your spouse could be victim of wage garnishment as well – even if the debt is in your name! This is why it’s so crucial to meet with a bankruptcy attorney immediately to experience the benefits of automatic stay.
Regardless of the situation, the key to fighting wage garnishment is to seek the help of a bankruptcy attorney as soon as the problem begins.