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Do I Need an Attorney if My Wages are Being Garnished?

Published on January 18th, 2020

Bankruptcy Lawyer

If you owe money to your creditors, one way for them to collect the debt that you have neglected to pay is to garnish your wages. Do you need the help of an attorney if your wages are being garnished and you want to challenge the amount or the garnishment? Can you do it on your own without an attorney’s assistance? It will depend on the type of garnishment and other factors.

Your wages are garnished two different ways:

Administrative Wage Garnishments

There are specific circumstances where a creditor can garnish your wages without getting a court order. This is known as an “administrative wage garnishment.” In most cases, it is a legal requirement to garnish wages for spousal and child support. Even if you offer to pay outside the garnishment, the law requires this payment to be collected through wage garnishment. 

Other examples of administrative wage garnishments include back taxes you owe or student loan payments you have neglected to address. 

Wage Garnishments as a Response to a Court Judgment

If you owe money to a credit card, car loan, or other creditor, they may file papers in court to request your employer garnish your wages for the money you owe them. 

Is There Anything You Can do if Your Wages are Being Garnished?

If you want to get the debt paid, you can just let your employer garnish your wages until the debt is paid off. There are other options if you are not comfortable with garnishing your wages.

  • Work with the creditor and see if you can come to a different arrangement to pay off the debt.
  • Dispute the garnishment without the help of a lawyer.
  • Hire an attorney to help.

Here are circumstances to ponder when considering whether or not to contest the garnishment:

Will the legal fees associated with hiring an attorney be larger than the debt you owe? A reputable lawyer will give you an honest answer to this question which will indicate whether or not it is financially feasible to move forward with hiring an attorney to help with your debt and garnishment issues.

What if I don’t owe the money? If you feel the debt is not legitimate or you have already paid the amount, you should contact an attorney. If the order to garnish your wages has already been filed, either an administrative agency or a court has stated that you have a legal obligation to pay the money owed. If that is the case, proving that the debt is not owed after the proceedings to garnish your wages have started can be difficult. Hiring an attorney to help you put together the documentation to prove you don’t owe the debt and making sure you follow the correct procedures may be a wise idea.

My boss wants to terminate my employment because of the garnishment. This would be a good time to consult with an attorney. It is illegal to be fired because of wage garnishment.

Consult with a wage garnishment lawyer, like a wage garnishment lawyer , to discuss all your available options when your wages are being garnished. 




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