Having your wages garnished for purposes of satisfying a debt is serious business. While obtaining a garnishment order can be a lengthy court process for the creditor, it is often difficult to resolve once implemented. In fact, chances are you won’t be able to recoup the money lost through garnishment orders. However, you can take action to prevent or stop further paychecks from being seized by creditors.
The Hold Up
Each state has different laws regarding wage garnishment. Like Texas bankruptcy laws, garnishment laws in this state are some of the most lenient. For example, the state of Texas does not allow for wage garnishment orders on consumer debts. In other words, you cannot have your wages garnished over a credit card debt. The instances in which you could have funds seized are the same for most states and include debts such as back due child support, tax debts, student loan debts or criminal restitution payments. Creditors can, however, get around these laws if your employer is out of state or a judgment against you originates from out of state.
Bankruptcy is a sure fire way to prevent an impending wage garnishment or stop a current garnishment order. This is because filing for bankruptcy creates a new court order, called an automatic stay. This order trumps any garnishment order and requires that creditors terminate collection efforts and adhere to the plan outlined by the bankruptcy court. However, it is important to note that this applies to consumer debts. The debts that garnishment laws can’t protect can also not be protected in bankruptcy, unless a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is filed.