Wage garnishment is a legal process in which a creditor can collect a debt by receiving a court order that requires an employer to withhold a certain amount of money from the debtor’s paycheck. This can be a serious financial burden for individuals struggling to make ends meet.
If you are facing wage garnishment, you may be wondering if bankruptcy can stop this process. The good news is that in many cases, bankruptcy can prevent or stop wage garnishment. Let’s explore how bankruptcy can help you stop wage garnishment and what you need to know before filing for bankruptcy.
Types of Bankruptcy
The two main types of bankruptcy are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a quick process that wipes out most unsecured debts, such as credit card debt and medical bills. When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the court issues an automatic stay on your creditors, including wage garnishment. This means that your employer must stop garnishing your wages immediately, giving you some relief from financial stress. However, it’s important to know that some types of debts, such as taxes and student loans, are not forgiven in Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy, on the other hand, is a payment plan that allows you to pay off your debts over three to five years. When you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, an automatic stay goes into effect, just like in Chapter 7. However, instead of wiping out your debts, you will make regular payments to a bankruptcy trustee who will distribute the money to your creditors. During this time, your wage garnishment will also stop, and you will have the opportunity to catch up on any missed payments on your secured debts, such as your mortgage or car loan.
It’s worth noting that there are some exceptions to the automatic stay. If you have had a bankruptcy case dismissed in the past year, the automatic stay may only be in effect for 30 days or not apply.
Additionally, if your wages are garnished for child support or alimony, the automatic stay may not apply to those debts. However, in most cases, bankruptcy can provide some relief from wage garnishment.
Before filing for bankruptcy, it’s important to speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. They can help you understand the process and whether bankruptcy is the right solution to your financial problems. Bankruptcy can have long-lasting effects on your credit, so it’s important to consider all of your options before making a decision.
Wage garnishment can be an incredibly stressful and overwhelming process for individuals who are already struggling financially. Bankruptcy can provide much-needed relief from wage garnishment and can help you get back on your feet. Whether you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, an automatic stay will prevent your wages from being garnished, giving you a chance to catch up on your financial obligations.
Just remember to speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney before making any decisions. They can help you understand the ins and outs of the bankruptcy process and help you make the best decision for your financial future.
For more information about wage garnishment and how to deal with it, or if you’d like to speak to someone about your options for dealing with debt, contact the Law Offices of Robert M. Geller at (813) 254-5696 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney.