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You can avoid wage garnishment with early planning

You knew you were behind on your credit card payments. In fact, they went to collections. Despite that, you thought you could handle the debt when you were in a better financial situation.

The truth hit harder and faster than expected. You recently found out that the credit card company had a case against you in court, and the judge ordered your employer to garnish your wages. Now, you can't afford your rent, insurance or other things you need.

What is wage garnishment?

Wage garnishment is usually the last thing creditors try when they are trying to get money back from a borrower. In most states, it's possible for a judge to order a garnishment of your wages if a judgment has been entered showing that you owe money.

Can employers fire employees who have their wages garnished?

You may be embarrassed to find out that your wages were garnished and that your employer knows about the difficult spot you're in. You might think he or she will let you go to avoid the trouble, but you shouldn't worry if this is the first time it's happened. It's against the law for employers to fire their employees because of garnished wages. However, when a court issues second or third judgments for garnishments, the employer no longer has to honor that or hold your position.

What can you do to stop or avoid garnishments?

When you first realize you're in financial trouble, you need to reach out. Talk to the creditor about your situation. If that doesn't help you resolve the problem, talk to an attorney. He or she could help you file for bankruptcy or look into other options that would prevent wage garnishment and lawsuits against you for monies owed.

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