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How does wage garnishment work?

On Behalf of | Aug 22, 2022 | bankruptcy |

If there is the potential for you to have your wages garnished due to past-due debts, you need to understand what wage garnishment is and how it works. The wage garnishment process begins when you don’t make a payment that you owe. At that time, the creditor may start looking into seeking support from the court to garnish your wages. Government agencies are the exception and do not need assistance from the court to begin the garnishment process.

When the process to garnish your wages begins, your employer will be notified that they have to start withholding a portion of your pay. This will continue until your debt is repaid in full.

Will my employer fire me for having my wages garnished?

No, they cannot by law. Federal laws are in place to prevent you from being discharged simply because of having a wage garnishment against you. This helps you keep your job and minimizes the risk of you being unable to repay a portion of the debt.

Can wage garnishment take my entire paycheck?

One of the tricky things about wage garnishment is that it can take wages from commissions, salaries, bonuses, wages and other sources of income. However, the amount that can be taken is usually limited by state law.

If you are already struggling a garnishment may cause you to default on normal living expenses.

You will know before a wage garnishment takes effect

The majority of the time, you will know that a wage garnishment is planned before it occurs. If you find out that you could have your wages garnished, consider reaching out to learn more about your legal options. Certain opportunities, like filing for bankruptcy, could prevent your wages from being garnished. Contact an attorney to discuss your options. As soon as you file bankruptcy, the creditor must take action to terminate the garnishment.