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If a court has ordered your employer to withhold a percentage of your paycheck to settle a debt or you fear it will happen soon, contact Dixon & Johnston Law Office in Belleville, IL. Our team of bankruptcy attorneys can help fight wage garnishment. Filing bankruptcy can result in an automatic stay, forcing your employer to stop garnishing wages in many cases. Call or visit our office to discuss your options and learn how we can help.

Wage garnishment is the result of a court order against a debtor that requires his or her employer to withhold earnings and send them directly to a creditor. Garnishments typically last until the debt in question is settled. Courts can order wage garnishment for child support, taxes, student loans, and any other debts included in a collections lawsuit. There are limits to how much one’s employer can garnish. But that may be little solace if the resulting take-home pay is not enough to cover expenses. Dixon & Johnston Law Office can help protect you from this overwhelming consequence.

How Filing Bankruptcy Can Stop Wage Garnishment

Filing bankruptcy causes a court-ordered automatic stay to go into effect. This injunction prohibits most creditors from collecting debts, including through wage garnishment. The court will notify creditors of the stay, while you may also alert your employer’s payroll department of the bankruptcy filing. An automatic stay typically remains in place until the debtor receives a bankruptcy discharge, which often ultimately erases all debts. Creditors will not be able to resume collection activities for any debts included in the discharge.

Bankruptcy Will Not Stop All Wage Garnishments

An automatic stay does not apply to all creditors and types of debt. Individuals who owe past due child support or alimony and file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case can still have their wages garnished for current support. These priority debts are considered non-dischargeable. Chapter 13 cases differ slightly. Wage garnishment will cease in Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases, but debtors must pay all obligations within a three- to five-year period.

In some instances, an automatic stay will be brief or not awarded. If an individual has filed bankruptcy and the case was dismissed within one year of the new filing, an automatic stay will only last for 30 days. Additionally, if someone has filed bankruptcy twice in the previous year, an automatic stay will not be automatically granted. However, you should still contact Dixon & Johnston Law Office in Belleville, IL. We can help present your case to the court in an attempt to have the stay imposed.

The Aftermath of Bankruptcy and Its Effect on Wage Garnishment

Once a bankruptcy case is complete, the automatic stay will end simultaneously. In bankruptcy cases that result in the discharge of debt, creditors may not resume wage garnishment. Dischargeable debts include credit card balances, personal loans, and medical bills. If the court dismisses a bankruptcy case before or without a discharge, however, creditors can continue to garnish wages.

Contact Dixon & Johnston Law Office to Learn Your Options

If you are being threatened by wage garnishment or your earnings are already being withheld, contact Dixon & Johnston Law Office. We can help you understand your options and explain how filing bankruptcy can help stop your creditors’ actions. Our skilled team of bankruptcy lawyers in Belleville, IL is ready to help, so call us today.

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