If you have ever owed money to a creditor, chances are you have received a number of phone calls, letters of collection, or notifications of intent to sue. What you may not know about the debt collection business is that wage garnishment is more common than you think, and you could be subject to it without official warning.
To initiate a wage garnishment order the creditor must first file a claim with the court against you. They must provide proof that they made good faith efforts to collect on the debt and that you have not made payments on the account. If approved, the court issues an order for your employer to pay the creditor the lesser of (a) 25% of your gross monthly income or (b) 30 times the federal minimum wage per month; all before you even see your paycheck.
There are a number of reasons why you could have your wages garnished. Back taxes, unpaid domestic support payments, student loan default, or unpaid court fines. Although you aren’t likely to have your wages garnished over credit card or medical debt, it is still possible if these creditors decide to sue.
The wage garnishment process can be quite the headache and many people find defending against an active order to be difficult. However, filing for bankruptcy can put a halt to current garnishments and prevent those that have yet to happen. Due to the sensitive nature of wage garnishment, always consult a Cincinnati bankruptcy attorney about how they can help you regain control of your paycheck.