Did you know there may be action you can take to prevent, reverse or decrease the amount of a wage garnishment?
What To Do If Your Wages Are Being Garnished:
Contact the Creditor Directly: In some scenarios, individuals facing a wage garnishment never actually spoke with their creditor about the situation. The first proactive step to take when trying to avoid or reverse wage garnishment is to contact the creditor directly to negotiate a smaller monthly payment amount or a debt settlement.
A Claim of Exemption: In some cases, it could be appropriate to file a claim of exemption. A claim of exemption could stop or decrease a wage garnishment based on the personal and financial situation at hand. Certain types of income are considered generally exempt (with some exceptions, contact an experienced bankruptcy attorney for more details). For example, in Georgia, the following types of income cannot be taken to pay off most types of debt: social security disability or retirement benefits, SSI benefits, TANF benefits, unemployment compensation, VA benefits, student loans, and child support received.
Challenge the Garnishment: For some, it could be appropriate to challenge the wage garnishment. For example, you may be able to challenge a wage garnishment if the creditor didn’t follow the required proceedings or if the amount garnished is excessive. It’s also important to note that sometimes wage garnishment may be based on an inaccurate record. Suppose a creditor garnishes wages to collect a debt you don’t owe (a debt already discharged in bankruptcy or a debt previously paid). In that case, you could have grounds for stopping the wage garnishment and clearing the associated debt.
Consolidation or Refinancing: In some cases, it may be possible to obtain a new loan to pay off the debt associated with the wage garnishment through consolidation or refinancing. However, this may not be an option. Many in this situation are behind on their bills, making obtaining new credit challenging. Seeking a secured loan could be an option. (For example, a home equity loan, but doing so means risking the loss of your home if you can’t repay the debt).
Bankruptcy: Filing bankruptcy can seem like an extreme option, but in some cases, bankruptcy is the best simple (and relatively inexpensive) answer to wage garnishment or the threat of wage garnishment. When buried in debt, filing bankruptcy puts an immediate stop to any active or planned wage garnishment.
If you have questions about filing Tennessee or Georgia bankruptcy and want to discuss how bankruptcy can help you stop wage garnishment, get in touch with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Don’t hesitate to call Kenneth C. Rannick, P.C., Tennessee, and Georgia bankruptcy attorney. Most bankruptcy offices in the Chattanooga area don’t have a single Consumer Bankruptcy Specialist on staff. Ken Rannick is recognized as a Board Certified (Senior Specialist) in Consumer Bankruptcy Law by the American Board of Certification. In addition, he is recognized and inducted as a “Superlawyer” by his fellow lawyers, which is awarded to less than 2% of all lawyers in his field.
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