Facing Wage Garnishment? An Experienced Bankruptcy Attorney Can Help.
One of the most frustrating collection actions from creditors is wage garnishment. When you are dealing with the stressful reality of debt, every penny matters, and it can be disheartening to have your wages taken to repay creditors. Fortunately, you do have legal options to halt wage garnishment. Serving clients in North Hollywood and the Los Angeles area, the Law Offices of Danny K. Agai can help you file for bankruptcy and legally halt all wage garnishment proceedings while working on discharging your debts at the same time. Attorney Danny Agai is genuinely invested in your financial freedom, and he will work directly with you from the beginning of your case to make sure you emerge on solid financial footing.
What Is Wage Garnishment?
Wage garnishment is a legal order requiring an employer to withhold a certain amount of money from a debtor’s paycheck and send it directly to one of their creditors. Creditors can pursue wage garnishment if they sue the debtor and obtain a judgment from the court. However, debts related to taxes, federal student loans, child support, and alimony do not need court approval to warrant wage garnishment.
There are federal and state limits on how much a debtor’s pay can be garnished. Federal law generally limits garnishment to 25% of a debtor’s weekly disposable income (income left after mandatory deductions), and California’s limits are whichever is the lesser of:
- 25% of the debtor’s disposable earnings for that week
- 50% of the amount by which their weekly disposable earnings exceed 40 times the state hourly minimum wage
Note that the wage garnishment limits are different, however, for debts that do not need to be approved by the court. When debtors have unpaid child support, for instance, they can have up to 60% of their wages garnished. Student loans are garnished up to 15% and unpaid state taxes up to 25%. Creditors may garnish wages until the debt is paid off or the debtor takes legal action, such as by filing for bankruptcy.
Avoiding Or Halting Wage Garnishment By Filing For Bankruptcy
When a person files for bankruptcy, an “automatic stay” goes into effect that prohibits most creditors from taking or continuing actions to collect debts. Essentially, those who file for Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy may reap the benefits of an automatic stay that stops wage garnishment and allows them the opportunity to discharge their underlying debts in the process.
Upon filing for bankruptcy, the debtor and their attorney should inform their relevant employers and garnishment creditors of the bankruptcy filing by providing them with the bankruptcy case number, filing date, and court location. The quicker this is done, the quicker the garnishment may stop, as a creditor is legally required to stop garnishing wages once they are notified of the bankruptcy.
After the bankruptcy case closes, creditors cannot resume wage garnishments on any discharged debts (often credit card balances, personal loans, and medical bills). Creditors can resume garnishments on non-dischargeable debts the debtor is still expected to repay. If the bankruptcy case is dismissed without a discharge, creditors can resume wage garnishment on all the debts.
Get Started On A Brighter Financial Future With A Free Consultation
If you fear your wages may be garnished in your current financial situation, contact the Law Offices of Danny K. Agai for legal help. Mr. Agai and his team can take a look at all your debts to determine your best strategy for halting wage garnishments and getting back on the path to financial health. The firm is located in Valley Village, California, and serves the entire Los Angeles area.
This firm is a debt relief agency. Attorney Danny Agai helps people file for relief under the Bankruptcy Code.