Wage Garnishment: What You Need To Know

Being in debt is difficult. It causes a lot of frustration and stress. What can be even worse is when a creditor threatens to garnish your wages. If you do not pay your debts, a creditor can move forward with wage garnishments to get the money you owe. This can be devastating if you are already struggling to pay your bills. If a creditor is threatening wage garnishment, there are some things you need to know:

How Does Wage Garnishment Work?

Wage garnishment is the legal process in which a court requires your employer to hold some of your paycheck to pay your debt. An employer, by law, must hold back some of your paycheck to repay the creditor that initiated the garnishment. The garnishment will continue until the debt is repaid. Depending on your state, you might not end up repaying as the law states that wage garnishment can only occur for a certain amount of time.

If your wages are going to be garnished, the court will notify you, your employer, and your bank prior to the start of the garnishment.

How Much of Your Paycheck Is Garnished?

There is a limit as to how much of your pay can be garnished to pay toward debt. The actual amount will depend on how much you get paid and the amount and type of debt you have. To begin a garnishment, a creditor has to get a judgment against you to pay a debt you have not repaid. If you do not pay a judgment, the creditor can then sue you and if they win, the judge can issue a wage garnishment. The percentage of your pay that is garnished will depend, but it can be up to a quarter of your paycheck.

If your debt consists of federal student loans, the garnishment can occur without a garnishment from the court. If you default on your student loans, the garnishment can start right away. However, you must be notified of the garnishment before the money begins to come out of your paycheck.

If you might be facing a wage garnishment, you can contact an attorney to help. You might be able to reduce the amount of the garnishment, better handle your debt, and improve your credit. If you are dealing with student loans, you may find some relief with legal assistance as well. As soon as you receive a notification, contact your attorney right away.

For more information, reach out to debt relief legal services near you.