Getting Help With Wage Garnishment
If your wages have been garnished and you are facing mounting debt, filing for bankruptcy may be a good choice. Because not all debts are discharged in bankruptcy, however, you may want to talk to an experienced bankruptcy attorney to review your options and make sure the benefits of filing outweigh the downsides.
What Is Lien Avoidance
Some judgment liens can be eliminated, or avoided in legal lingo, in the course of a bankruptcy. A judgment lien is avoided if it applies to property you claim as exempt from liquidation or forfeiture in your bankruptcy.
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the debtor’s primary vehicle is exempt from liquidation or forfeiture if it’s worth less than your state’s exemption limit. Any judgment lien against an exempted vehicle you own free and clear can be wiped out through bankruptcy.
Note that this is distinct from any claim to the vehicle retained by the issuer of the loan used to purchase it. If you are still paying off a loan on the vehicle, bankruptcy may eliminate your obligation to cover delinquent payments on that loan, but the lender’s right to repossess the vehiclea form of lien that’s not dependent on a court orderstill stands, and you may still lose the vehicle.
In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, it’s possible to avoid judgment liens against certain real estate holdings by claiming the real estate as exempt from consideration in the bankruptcy process. Doing so can be tricky, however, because it also eliminates any protection you may have against repaying outstanding debt owed on any mortgage on that property. Because of the potential complexity of claiming exemptions under Chapter 13, it’s wise to consult with your lawyer, and perhaps a real estate professional, when considering your options.
Discharging A Collection Lawsuit Judgment
A favorable judgment obtained by the creditor may be enforced by garnishing your wages, foreclosure, the placement of liens on your property, or levying your bank accounts. Fortunately, filing bankruptcy may halt enforcement of the judgment provided that the debt is a dischargeable debt. However, it will not automatically wipe out a judgment lien on your property placed before filing bankruptcy. You have to file a court motion to remove a lien.
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Your Home And Floridas Homestead Exemption
If you own the home you live in, your home is protected from all creditors except those holding a mortgage or lien on your residence. You can exempt or protect your home and up to one-half acre of land from any forced sale if you live in an incorporated area. This also applies to mobile homes. If you live in an unincorporated area, you can protect up to 160 acres as homestead property.
Under most circumstances, a lien cannot be placed on your home for a debt that has nothing to do with your home. However, creditors who lend you money to buy, improve or repair your home may put a lien on your home. Nonetheless, if a creditor has a mortgage on your home, no matter what the purpose of the mortgage, you are not protected by the homestead exemption.
To protect your home, an affidavit describing your home and claiming it as your homestead must be filed with the court. This is different from the homestead tax form you file with the county property appraiser every year. Florida Statute 222.01 provides the type of notice and affidavit you will need to file.
File Chapter 13 Bankruptcy To Stop Judgment
Chapter 13 is a reorganization. People who file Chapter 13 are those who failed the means test. In this type of bankruptcy, you can keep your properties and assets, and in return, you have to make a monthly payment to pay off all your debts within 60 months . You will be required to propose a monthly repayment plan, which can be determined in two ways, first, via the value of your non-exempt assets, or second, via your disposable income. Whichever will pay the most significant amount off your debts will be used as the basis for determining the amount of your monthly payment.
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Do Judgments Impact Your Credit
For many years, judgments and liens appeared in the public records section of credit reports, but that is no longer the case. Bankruptcies are now the only public records collected and listed on credit reports maintained by the three national .
Chapter 7 bankruptcies appear on your credit reports for 10 years from the date of the bankruptcy filing, while Chapter 13 bankruptcies remain for seven years from the filing date.
A bankruptcy negatively affects your credit score as long as it remains on your credit report, but its impact diminishes over time. Since judgments and liens no longer appear on credit reports, they have no effect on credit scores.
Legal judgments and their consequences, including garnished wages and drained bank accounts, can compound the distress of mounting debt. Filing bankruptcy is stressful in its own right, but it can bring instant relief from judgments, in many cases eliminating them permanently.
Filing For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy After Wage Garnishment
In many cases, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can put an end to wage garnishment. After filing for bankruptcy, the garnishment on your wages should immediately end. Under the law, you receive immediate protection from your creditors after filing. An automatic stay is placed on your record, which demands that all acts of collection cease. An emergency filing may help if you are in desperate need of having the garnishment cease. In addition, filing for Chapter 7 should take care of the issue so that the garnishment does not begin again.
A North Carolina wage garnishment lawyer can help you determine if you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You must meet all requirements of a means test. This test determines whether you make too much money to use Chapter 7 for wage garnishment relief. If you do make too much, you may be able to use Chapter 13 or another form of debt relief to stop wage garnishment right away.
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I Dont Let Your Creditors Touch Your Paycheck
Creditors can file a lawsuit and get a judgment against you. They can collect on that judgment by garnishing your wages. If the threat of wage garnishment is imminent or your wages have already been garnished, an experienced debt relief lawyer can protect your paycheck.
I am Ben Sissman, a Memphis wage garnishment attorney with more than 30 years of experience helping people like you throughout Tennessee. When you contact me, I will move quickly to see that you get all the protection offered by filing bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy Will Not Automatically Remove Liens From Your Property
When you receive a bankruptcy discharge, it wipes out your liability for all discharged debts. You will no longer be obligated to pay those debts, and creditors can’t sue you personally to collect them. However, simply filing for bankruptcy does not automatically remove any liens that were placed on your property before filing your case.
If a creditor obtains a lawsuit judgment against you, it can enforce that judgment in different ways, including garnishing your wages, levying your bank accounts, or placing liens against your properties such as your house. If a judgment lien has been placed on your property, you must file a motion with the court to remove it. Learn more about lien avoidance in bankruptcy.
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Garnishment Limitations In Colorado
Only a limited amount of your wages can be garnished. The law offers garnishment protection for a portion of your wages so that you can still pay for living expenses. In Colorado, only up to 25% of the disposable income you earn in one week can be garnished. This rule is true even if there are multiple creditors with their own garnishment orders. Disposable earnings refer to your take-money pay, or the amount left over after deductions required by law, such as federal income tax, Social Security tax, and state and local taxes. Deductions taken from your paycheck for health insurance or union fees are not legally required, and these amounts are counted towards your disposable earnings.
There are special limitations if you owe child support. The amount that can be garnished depends on whether you have to support other family members or if the arrearages are over 12 weeks old.
- 50% of your disposable income is subject to garnishment if you are supporting another spouse or child.
- 60% of your disposable income is subject to garnishment if you are not supporting another spouse or child.
- An additional 5% can be garnished if there are outstanding arrearages over 12 weeks old.
If you have low income, Colorado has a calculation to determine the garnishment amount. This amount may be less than 25% of your earnings. For low-income debtors, it is a sliding scale the lower your income, the less that is subject to garnishment.
Recovering Wages Garnished Before The Bankruptcy
You might be able to get back some garnished wages, but in most cases, trying to do so won’t be worth the cost. It’s usually better to avoid a loss by filing for bankruptcy fast.
The garnishment will need to have occurred during the 90 days before the bankruptcy filing date. It will need to exceed a particular amount , and you’ll need to be able to protect that amount with an exemption .
However, the issue is that most states don’t have an exemption that protects cashor it’s minimal. Also, to recover this money, you’ll have to file a lawsuit in bankruptcy court against your creditor. Whether that makes financial sense will depend on how much you stand to get back and how much your attorney will charge to file the lawsuit.
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Bankruptcy Doesn’t Stop Unforgivable Debts
Filing bankruptcy may give you ideas of a debt-free life. However, this is not the case for those who have debts that cannot be legally forgiven. You will still owe these debts despite filing for bankruptcy. The debts that bankruptcy cannot eliminate are:
- Tax claims
File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy To Stop Judgment
To file Chapter 7, you must first pass the means test. You must be able to demonstrate that you do not have sufficient means to pay all your debts. Chapter 7 is a liquidation bankruptcy, so all of your properties and assets must be disclosed. The assigned trustee will sell all of your assets and non-exempt properties, and the proceeds will be used to pay all of your creditors.
You will be allowed to keep your exempt properties, including your home, $1,000 in each personal property and equity in a car. If you do not have a home and you are only leasing an apartment, you will be allowed to keep $5,000 in personal property and $1,000 of the equity in your car.
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Do You Have A Garnishment You Also Have Rights
It is important when you get served notice of a garnishment to be familiar with what rights you have in the State of Missouri as a judgment debtor. A creditor is required by Missouri law to provide you with a disclosure accompanying the notice of garnishment that certain exemptions may be used to offset or completely bar an attempt to collect a judgment by garnishment.
When Can Your Lender Sue You For A Deficiency
Your lender doesn’t always have an automatic right to come after you for a deficiency balance. Most states permit car lenders to pursue borrowers to collect auto loan deficiencies. When it comes to mortgage loans, deficiency laws can be complex and differ significantly from state to state.
In general, whether your mortgage lender can come after you for a deficiency depends on:
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Does Filing For Bankruptcy Make A Lawsuit Go Away Forever
In most cases, a bankruptcy will discharge a lawsuit or judgment because the financial matter is included in your bankruptcy. However, some legal actions will continue regardless of whether you file for bankruptcy. This includes criminal cases, divorces, child custody cases, and child support orders. But you may be able to cope with the costs of these circumstances more easily when you have a manageable bankruptcy plan in place. Contact a bankruptcy attorney to make the right choice for your financial future.
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What Happens To Wage Garnishments After Bankruptcy
After bankruptcy, your creditors will not be able to resume wage garnishments. Through a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will eliminate most of the debt that was threatening your wages. If any of your debt was not discharged, creditors may be able to resume wage garnishment. Through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will structure the debt into a payment plan. Creditors will have to wait for payment through that plan. If you are concerned about how wage garnishment will impact your finances after bankruptcy, call a wage garnishment lawyer today.
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Option : Dont Allow A Judgment To Be Entered Against You
The best way to avoid a garnishment is to not allow a judgment to be entered against you in the first place. This means, in simple terms, that you should not ignore lawsuits that are filed against you. If you get any documents that look like they may be from a court, or that say complaint, summons, or judgment on them, it means that there is likely a lawsuit pending against you, and you need to immediately obtain legal advice and determine how you will deal with the lawsuit. Generally, this will involve either fighting the lawsuit , settling the lawsuit, or dealing with the lawsuit through bankruptcy.
It is especially important to be proactive in dealing with lawsuits because you allow yourself the most time to come up with the best strategy and to make the necessary arrangements to protect your assets. Too often people ignore lawsuits until they get a garnishment order. At that point, there are fewer options available to stop the garnishment, and the timeframes are much shorter as wellyou could have less than two weeks to prevent the garnishment from going into effect.
Debt Relief By A Charlotte Wage Garnishment Lawyer
If you are facing a difficult situation with debt, you may need a wage garnishment lawyer to protect your rights. Even though you owe creditors and the government, you have options. At Law Office of Jack G. Lezman, PLLC, we will listen to your story and help you make a plan to deal with your debt. Wage garnishment can be scary. Let us help you during this complicated time.
Our Charlotte wage garnishment lawyers from the Law Office of Jack G. Lezman, PLLC can help you know what information you need to successfully file. We can help you know whether filing under Chapter 7 is best for your situation. Depending on your circumstances, there may be a different solution to your wage garnishment issue. If you can qualify for Chapter 7 through the means test, it might be the best option. If you do not qualify, your wage garnishment can be solved through Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Contact our firm to learn more about how bankruptcy can stop your wages from being garnished.
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Attend The Objection Hearing
Once you have filed your objection, then you need to attend the hearing. If you file an objection, but do not go to the hearing, then the court may overrule your objection and the garnishment will begin.
Even if you attend the hearing and the court denies your objection, you can still use this as an opportunity to meet with the creditor and negotiate a payment plan. It may not be too late to stop the garnishment if you can get the creditor to agree.
Talk To A Bankruptcy Lawyer
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