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I’m Being Garnished! What Can I Do?

I Need Answers For: Wage Garnishments

Wage garnishments can be a big problem. Your wages are probably needed to pay monthly bills like rent or mortgage, electric, groceries, and other essential expenses. If credit card payments and other obligations are not met then a wage garnishment may be ordered for these debts. If your income does not stretch far enough now the wage garnishment will just exaggerate this problem and make things worse.

An experienced bankruptcy attorney with the Richard West Law law firm can take certain steps that will stop any garnishment already in place, and prevent other creditors from taking this step in the first place. We can provide a free initial consultation so that you understand all of your options and find out whether bankruptcy is the right choice in your specific case.

Filing Chapter 7 or 13  Bankruptcy Will Stop Most Wage Garnishments

As soon as you fall behind on any payments for medical expenses, credit card accounts, and many other types of debt the creditor can sue you in court, get a judgment against you, and ask for a wage garnishment order to collect the debt you owe.

A wage garnishment will not be issued until a lawsuit is filed and the judge makes a decision in the case. Often the court papers delivered may not be easy to understand or make it clear that you are a defendant in a lawsuit brought by the creditor. If you do not attend the hearing then the judge will issue a default judgment in the case and this allows the creditor to request a wage garnishment.

After a judgment is entered in your case there is no further notice given about any collection actions taken. The first time that you may find out about a wage garnishment is when you receive your paycheck and realize it is for much less than expected.

Most wage garnishments can be stopped by filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy, but this is not always the case. Some debts that result in wage garnishment cannot be eliminated through bankruptcy and this includes child support, alimony, certain past due taxes, and a few other types. As soon as the bankruptcy petition is filed with the court all collection activities must stop due to the automatic stay, and this includes wage garnishments.

Medical debt, credit card debt, and most other debt can be eliminated with chapter 7 bankruptcy protection and wage garnishments for these debts will not be resumed after the bankruptcy court has discharged the case and the debts involved.

Immediate Action Can Stop Or Even Prevent Wage Garnishments

As soon as wage garnishments become a concern an experienced bankruptcy attorney should be contacted immediately. If wage garnishment starts and money is taken before you file for bankruptcy protection these funds will not be returned in most cases. There are steps you can take to protect your income and get a fresh financial start.

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  • overall Excellent
    I had been out of work and unable to pay my bills. It was embarrassing and very humiliating. I received a letter from Mr. West, I called him and he was very caring and helpful along with his staff. He walked me through the process of all I had to deal with. He talked to me as a person and never down to me. He never once made me feel bad about my situation. He made me feel more secure about being able to answer my phone with no worries. He stopped the harassing phone calls. He was available for me to talk to with any worries or concerns I had. He was there through the whole process along with his wonderful staff. Even today I can call with any concerns and they are there to take my calls and answer any questions I have . Never once did I feel bad about my situation. They actually helped me see ways to never go back into debt again. I can honestly say I will never need to go through this again because of Mr. West and his staff, but if I did mess up he would be the first person I would call. I can now keep my head up and know I have learned a lot through meeting him and his staff. The whole company is wonderful. I pray that people do not have to ever go through this, but Mr. West would be the one to call for help. Thank You Mr. West and your wonderful caring staff for making my life better. I can never thank you enough or put in proper words what it means to me.Victoria Joerendt

  • overall Excellent
    Rick was very welcoming when I went to see him. THis is difficult situation and hard to deal with but Rick made me feel comfortable and I am glad that i went through with this. My finances are now in better shape and my paralegal Doreen was very supportive, quick responses and I felt very personally connected to the firm. I did not feel like "a number." I am satisfied that this was the best choice I could have made.Jessica Grant

  • overall Excellent
    Going through financial difficulties can be an emotionally challenging experience, needless to say, and something we wished we could have avoided. We didn't even know that there were other options besides bankruptcy until we met with Richard West. He listened to our unique situation and advised us wisely. He and his team, with their professionalism, knowledge, and thoughtfulness, made it so much easier for us. They were always there to answer any and all our of questions and treated us with total respect as we went through the process. We could not have imagined going through this without them! THANK YOU, Mr. West and Team!!! Teresa Mozena

  • overall Excellent
    I hired Rick West after the bankruptcy attorney I selected at first screwed up my case. Rick was able to fix the mistakes he made, and secured for me an amazing result - better than I imagined would be possible. His work was top notch all the way, and I knew that he really cared about me and getting the best result for me that was possible - he did a fantastic job. Actually, this is an understatement, I am, of course, happy that this is behind me and I am rebuilding but I feel fortunate to have found an attorney who has really restored my faith in attorneys. lisa marsh

  • overall Excellent
    Rick's staff was comforting "like a warm blanket" and walked me through the steps. His staff is just the best. It's a nice friendly atmosphere. larry clinton