Wage garnishment occurs when your employer automatically deducts money from your paycheck. This action comes at the behest of a court order, and your employer cannot refuse to do it, even if they sympathize with your situation. Plus, no part of your paycheck, including performance bonuses, tips, and commissions, are safe from garnishment.
For example, parts of your paycheck are withheld to pay for taxes and company initiatives; wage garnishment works the same way…except unlike taxes, there are ways to escape this process. If you are tired of large chunks of your income disappearing before you even see it, get awage garnishment attorney to help you fight back.
Make sure you have Knoxville Bankruptcy Attorney your side. With decades of combined experience dealing with wage garnishment, you can have peace of mind knowing you are in great hands when you work with them. Their proven track record, unmatched legal expertise, and impeccable reliability have made them among the most coveted attorneys in Knoxville, TN.
Reasons You May Experience Wage Garnishment
According to the Consumer Credit Protection Act, a court can garnish up to 25 percent of your income; this is withdrawnafter mandatory deductions. A court may also garnish your disposable income when the paycheck exceeds 30 times the federal minimum wage.
Losing a chunk of your paycheck is painful, but it does not occur without reason. A court may use wage garnishment to pay for a variety of different debts. Some of the most common include:
- Back taxes : Owing money to the IRS almost inevitably leads to wage garnishment. This form is among the harshest, as the IRS does not need a court order to do so, nor do they have to stick to any minimums; this debt type makes up approximately 20 percent of garnishments.
- Child support payments : According to ADP Compliance Insights, 40 percent of wage garnishment is for child support payments. Garnishing most often occurs if the individual has not made several consecutive payments.
- Student loans : Many people saddled with astronomical student loans face wage garnishment. Paying off six figures in student debt doesn’t get any easier after garnishment, considering this form does not require a court order either.
Preventing Wage Garnishment
The important aspect when it comes to contesting wage garnishment is to act fast. You may have as few as five business days to formally petition a collection. That is why it is vital to get an experienced attorney on your side to review your case and possible options.
Once you have recognized and acted on the problem, it is time to consider your courses of action. There are many potential ways to go, including:
- Chapter 7 Bankruptcy : Chapter 7 bankruptcy is simple and straightforward. If you are eligible, the court appoints a trustee to sell your assets. The proceeds from the sale are then used to pay off the creditors and debt collectors.
Once enough money is made to satisfy the creditors and collectors, the debtor is free from wage garnishment. It is also worth mentioning that the trustee will not sell all your assets in Chapter 7. Items that are essential to maintaining a reasonable standard of living receive an exemption.
- Contest the Wage Garnishment : A strong defense will go a long way toward stopping wage garnishment. There are several procedural shortcuts collectors may take that can absolve you from future payments. For instance, a creditor may not follow proper protocol, or they may collect too much money from your paycheck. If these happen, a court may eliminate the garnishing order.
- The Creditors Have Already Been Paid : This sounds crazy, but it happens. Occasionally, people pay off their obligations yet still face garnishment. Showing documented evidence that the collector has overstepped their boundary can help you put a stop to the garnishment and regain lost wages.
- Alternatives : As we’ve said—there are many potential ways to avoid garnishment. You can negotiate with creditors, challenge the garnishment order in court, find state-specific help, and even get debt counseling. With so many possibilities, it helps to have an attorney on hand to explain the various pros and cons of each strategy.
Learn More About Wage Garnishment
Wage garnishment can be devastating to your finances. Luckily, you have options to reclaim that lost money when you work with Knoxville Bankruptcy Attorney. Not only will they put an end to the current wage garnishment, but they will also make sure you can reclaim money from up to three months prior.
Restore your financial freedom with ungarnished paychecks. Your ability to live comfortably again and manage your living expenses is a single phone call away. Don’t hesitate. Call 865-276-8109 to set up an appointment with a wage garnishment attorney and turn your life around today.