If you have outstanding debts owed to creditors, financial institutions, government agencies, and even private parties like an individual lender, then a wage garnishment could be placed on your paychecks. In short, a wage garnishment allows the owed party to syphon a percentage of your hard-earned money directly out of each paycheck you receive. Usually the most a paycheck can be garnished is 25%.
While wage garnishments are sometimes toted as an easy way to automatically repay debts, the truth is they often throw people even further into debt. If you cannot make ends meet and cannot afford the bare necessities, you may be able to put an end to wage garnishments to help you escape debts, old and new.
Three methods to stop wage garnishments you may be able to utilize include:
- Checking the legality: Some wage garnishments will be based on invalid or incorrect information, rendering the garnishment illegal. This is somewhat rare, though, since a court must review wage garnishment petitions and approve them. You should work with a debt relief attorney to review your wage garnishments and look for any that might be invalid.
- Claiming exemptions: California allows people in debt to file claims of exemption to stop wage garnishment in certain situations. The filer must be able to prove that they are unable to afford basic necessities, do not spend their money on any luxuries or entertainment items, and have attempted to rectify the situation through other means, such as additional employment. While this might reduce the amount being garnished out of each paycheck, it does nothing to get rid of the debt, which will continue to accrue interest and follow you indefinitely.
- Filing for bankruptcy: Merely the act of filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy will cause the automatic stay to go into effect. This places an immediate stop on all collection activity of all of your creditors. The automatic stay halts any collections against you and prohibits any future attempts to try to collect. When your bankruptcy concludes, the automatic stay will be lifted, but, if yor bankruptcy was handled properly, your bankruptcy will have eliminated the debts that called for the wage garnishments. The automatic stay is so powerful it even stops the IRS.
Want to know more about wage garnishments and how to stop them in California? You can call 888.845.9190 to speak with a San Diego bankruptcy attorney and debt relief lawyer from San Diego Legal Pros. We have more than 10 years of total legal experience and offer free consultations to inquiring clients.