One of the most frustrating aspects of owing a significant amount of debt is that you will face pressure from creditors and debt collectors. You will get phone calls and letters, adding stress to an already stressful situation. It is possible you will also receive notice of more aggressive debt collection efforts, such as repossession or wage garnishment.
Wage garnishment is the process of creditors seeking an order to have employers withhold a portion of a debtor’s paycheck. This amount goes toward paying a specific balance, and it will continue until the garnishment process pays off the debt. If you received notice that you will be subject to this type of debt collection, you may be wondering what to expect from it and if there is anything you can do to make it stop.
Wage garnishment is more common than you may think. It happens when a creditor sues for the repayment of a debt. A creditor cannot simply decide to contact your Louisiana employer and request to receive a portion of your paycheck. The creditor takes the lawsuit to court, and if the court approves it, the garnishment notice goes to the employer. If you are unfamiliar with how this process works, the following facts about wage garnishment may be helpful:
- You will receive notice before wage garnishment starts, anywhere from five to 30 days before.
- There is a federal limit to how much of your paycheck a creditor can garnish. The limit depends on the type of debt you owe and your disposable income.
- You have the right to dispute the garnishment if you believe the creditor acted on inaccurate information.
- Your employer cannot fire you for one wage garnishment, but you could lose your job with any subsequent garnishments.
It’s overwhelming to consider losing a portion of your wages. However, you do still have rights, no matter how much you owe, and you have the right to seek a beneficial outcome and a better financial future.
What can you do?
There is no overnight solution to getting rid of overwhelming debt. However, filing for consumer bankruptcy can provide both immediate and long-term relief. The automatic stay will go into effect as soon as you file, halting any collection efforts against you. This includes wage garnishment. Bankruptcy also offers you the opportunity to deal with certain balances once and for all, allowing you to complete the process with more financial security and stability.