There are many repercussions that come with significant amounts of unpaid debt. If you are behind on your payments, you likely struggle with the stress and feelings of helplessness that may come with knowing that you cannot catch up on your own. In addition to the stress you may feel, it is also likely that you will experience other negative consequences of debt, including various collection methods made by debt collectors and creditors.
Of the many techniques often used to collect unpaid debts, one of the most common is wage garnishment. This is the process of withholding a portion of your earned wages to pay off some of your debt. It can be incredibly frustrating to know that you are only seeing a portion of the money you’ve earned, and this can make it more difficult than ever to get ahead. If you are experiencing wage garnishment or other threats from creditors, you may benefit from knowing about your legal options.
Facts about the wage garnishment process
Your employer cannot withhold a portion of your earned wages simply because you have debt. In order to secure a garnishment of your wages, the creditor must go to court and pursue an order that will require your employer to cooperate. If you have received notice of a garnishment of your wages, or you are already experiencing this, the following facts may be helpful:
- The garnishment of your wages will continue until you pay the debt off, or until there is another resolution.
- There are limits to wage garnishment, including how much the government can withhold from your checks.
- You have a legal right to a notification of the garnishment before it begins, and you can file a dispute.
- Some forms of your income, such as your Social Security benefits, are not subject to garnishment.
- Your employer cannot fire you for one garnishment, but that protection does not apply for two or more garnishments.
The automatic stay brings an immediate halt to all collection efforts, including the wage garnishment process. The automatic stay goes into effect as soon as a Georgia consumer files for bankruptcy. During bankruptcy, you will have protection from further collection efforts as you follow the terms of your bankruptcy plan. If you owe a significant amount of debt, bankruptcy could offer you the opportunity to seek a better future for yourself and your family.