Over the past few weeks I have seen several clients who come to my office because they have a wage garnishment against them. A wage garnishment occurs after a creditor obtains a judgment against you and then files and obtains a wage garnishment through your employer. If a creditor obtains a wage garnishment against you, they are able to collect up to TWENTY FIVE (25) percent of your wages, before taxes. There is one viable defense to the wage garnishment and that is the head of household defense which prohibits a creditor from garnishing your wages if you are the primary wage earner and you have minor children. If the debtor doesn’t claim this defense when they answer the request of the creditor then the creditor can continue to wage garnish. The garnishment will last until the entire debt plus attorneys fees are paid.
HOWEVER if the debtor files for bankruptcy the wage garnishment is frozen on the spot and the creditor is NOT allowed to garnish from the moment the bankruptcy is filed. Also if the creditor continues to garnish after your bankruptcy is filed, they are in violation of the automatic stay and anything that they have garnished will be returned to the debtor. In a recent case of mine a creditor continued to garnish after my client filed for bankruptcy, but they returned all the monies to my client shortly after being put on notice.
If your wages are currently being garnished then you need to consider if it is worth allowing the wage garnishment to continue until the debt is entirely paid off or if bankruptcy could be an option for you then give Shmucher Law, PL a call. We offer free consultations in any of our five conveniently located bankruptcy offices in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Plantation, or Sunrise.