Stopping Wage Garnishments
Brian K. McMahon, P.A.
Attorney, Bankruptcy, Bankruptcy Services
Creditors will often resort to just about anything to collect the money you owe. You may receive harassing phone calls at home or work. They’ll even send bills you have no chance of paying back. Many will completely ignore and violate the Debt Collection Practices Act to get what they want. If you’re the victim of these bullying tactics, you’re not alone. Countless people in West Palm Beach deal with these scare tactics on a daily basis. But if you’re unable to pay your debts, creditors can go to court and garnish of your wages. This means they can legally get your employer to withhold a portion of your paycheck and transfer it to a creditor to pay off your debt.
Filing for bankruptcy can prevent creditors from garnishing your wages. But if you’re only filing to stop a wage garnishment, you may be making a mistake. Once you file for bankruptcy, the court places an automatic stay on your debts. This prevents any creditor from collecting on your debt until your bankruptcy is settled and the court decides which debts must be paid or discharged. The good news is creditors are forbidden to garnish your wages during the automatic stay period. If the court decides to discharge the debt, the creditor cannot resume the garnishment process.
It’s your responsibility to inform your creditor that you have filed for bankruptcy. This can be done by simply faxing the first page of your bankruptcy petition to your creditor’s human resources department and their attorney. But it’s important for everyone to be on the same page. Send another copy to the law enforcement division listed on the garnishment order. It could take several weeks to stop the garnishment process if you fail to inform all the involved parties.
Now it’s time for the bad news. Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in West Palm Beach can negatively affect your credit score for the next seven years, while Chapter 7 bankruptcy stays on your credit report for 10 years. But there are two important things to keep in mind. Bankruptcy is a good option if your garnishment was the result of debt and credit problems. It gives a fresh start to your financial future. But if you have good credit, filing for bankruptcy will severely cripple your credit score. If the garnishment process started recently within the last three months, bankruptcy will not discharge your debt.
The decision of filing for bankruptcy to stop a wage garnishment is a serious decision. It’s important to receive consultation from a qualified bankruptcy attorney who can help you navigate through this complicated process. Attorney Brian K. McMahon, P.A in West Palm Beach has represented countless people throughout South Florida in all aspects of bankruptcy for 18 years. Call today at (561) 478-2500 and learn what a bankruptcy law attorney can do for you.
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, Bankruptcy Services