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What to Do When Your Wages Are Being Garnished

Updated on February 9, 2013
stressed over bills
stressed over bills

If your wages are being garnished for overdue credit card or other consumer debt, there are measures you can take to stop this process and resume receiving your full salary.

Make sure to contact a qualified credit counselor or attorney to find out whether a debt consolidation agreement, personal bankruptcy or challenging all or part of the debt that is being collected is best for you.

In addition, be sure to avoid any services that offer to wipe out debt by ineffective or illegal means, or which offer debt consolidation agreements that are not properly negotiated with creditors.

Please be aware that this article pertains only to garnishment for consumer debt. Wages can be garnished by the Federal government for tax arrears or by family court for child support, and garnishment for these reasons is difficult to stop.

Debt Consolidation Agreements

Debt consolidation agreements are offered by credit counselors, many of whom are recognized professionals and are licensed by various pertinent authorities.

When you contact a credit counselor, he will advise you as to what kind of arrangement can be made with all of your creditors, and he will make sure to include those creditors which are garnishing your wages in that agreement.

What happens in a debt consolidation agreement is that creditors agree to waive a portion of the debt or to accept lower monthly payments in exchange for regular, timely repayment of the remaining balance.

Such agreements stop garnishment of wages, in fact all collection actons and they are recommended when you clearly can repay your debt but just need to reduce and organize your monthly payments.

Personal Bankruptcy

If illness or sudden personal expenses leave you unable to pay your debts, and your wages are being garnished so that you do not have enough left of your paycheck to start again financially, personal bankruptcy may be the best option.

Personal bankruptcy either discharges your debts altogether or lets you enter into an agreement to repay a portion of your debts. It stops all collection actions including garnishment, but wages can be garnished again as part of a repayment agreement.

Declaring bankruptcy is not a decision that should be taken lightly, and legal help is necessary to make sure you declare bankruptcy according to the method that best suits your financial situation.

Challenging Debts

With proper legal help, you can attempt to vacate an order which allowed for a creditor to garnish your wages.

Wage garnishing can take place only after a judgement order that validates the debt which is being satisfied by garnishing your wages. If you can prove you never knew about the lawsuit that led to the judgement, or if it was handled improperly, the judge will vacate the collection order and garnishment will stop.

Make sure to get proper professional advice when you need to stop your wages from being garnished. You will have a greater chance of success and you will avoid falling victim to scammers who promise debt relief that they cannot legally deliver.

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    • Troyangeluk profile image

      Troyangeluk 4 years ago from UK

      thanks for sharing this, I fount this to be clear and easy to understand.