You know you're behind on your bills. You want to pay them, but you just don't have the funds.
Now you've received a letter informing you that a creditor is seeking legal approval to start garnishing your wages. That means they can take money from your paycheck to help pay off the outstanding debt.
If you haven't sought legal guidance to help with your debts up to this point, it's time to do so now.
By this stage, you should have received several notices from creditors that they want their money. By the time wage garnishment becomes an option, your creditor will have called you and sent letters to try to resolve the debt. If the creditor can't contact you, they can go to court to seek a judgment, and papers will be served to let you know about the filing.
If you have reached this point, it's time to take the next steps:
- Start by talking with your creditor to try to make alternate options for payments. Options include paying no interest or even making no payments for some amount of time, making partial payments or reducing the interest rate, or offering to settle the debt for what was less than owed. You'll want to do that before any judgment is entered.
- Challenge the garnishment once you receive notice that is has been ordered. This is the change to plead your case, and may creditors will suspend the garnishment if you agree to make payments toward the debt.
- File for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy will stop a garnishment through an automatic stay injunction, as it does most collection letters and calls.
If you're already struggling financially, wage garnishment is the last thing you want to have happen. If you're losing a percentage of your paycheck each month, you'll never get caught up on your bills. An experienced attorney can be of invaluable assistance.