If you are facing a wage garnishment to settle a debt, your finances have likely been in disarray for some time. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away, so it's time to take the bull by the horns and decide on a course of action.
When your wages are garnished, your employer retains a portion of your paycheck to pay off your creditors. Garnishments can be used to satisfy:
- Child support arrearages
- Unpaid taxes
- Student loans
- Court case judgments
- Personal loans
To garnish your wages, debtors must obtain the court's permission. If one of your debtors is seeking to garnish your wages, you will be served with a notice of the location, time and date of the hearing where you should appear. This gives you the opportunity to challenge any of the plaintiff's assertions against you.
Your employer will get a copy of the garnishment order before sending a payment to the creditor. The payments will continue until the debt is completely satisfied.
It's illegal for employers to fire workers who have a single garnishment. However, those employees with two or more wage garnishments can be terminated for that reason.
It may be possible to avoid such drastic recourse. Filing for bankruptcy is often preferable to enduring a wage garnishment that could cause you to lose your job. No one wants to contemplate filing for bankruptcy as a first option, but once your financial circumstances are so dire that wage garnishment is a distinct possibility, it might be time to reach out to a bankruptcy law attorney to review your options.