Besides throwing your finances off balance, wage garnishment can also put you in an embarrassing situation. Depending on the terms of your employment, wage garnishment can also strain your relationship with your employer.
If creditors are threatening to garnish your wage, there are a number of steps you can take to stop this from happening. Here are some of these steps:
Negotiate a payment with your creditor
If you are unable to pay off what you owe your creditors in full, you need to consider negotiating a payment plan. Let your creditor know what you can afford as well as when you will be making the payments (monthly or bimonthly). Sometimes, the creditor will require you to fill out a questionnaire regarding your financial situation and submit it alongside a signed copy of the payment plan. If they approve your payment plan, the garnishment will not go ahead!
Challenge the garnishment order
Once a garnishment judgment is entered against you, the court will send a copy of the ruling to you as well as your employer. Alongside this judgment notice, you will receive instructions on how you can appeal the garnishment order.
If you are overwhelmed with debt and do not have enough disposable income to finance your basic living expenses, negotiating a payment plan or challenging the garnishment order may not be effective options. If multiple creditors are coming after you, you should consider getting a fresh start. This is where bankruptcy comes in. Chapter 7 bankruptcy would be ideal if you are struggling with personal loans, medical debts, credit card debts and utility bills. However, it is important to note that bankruptcy cannot offset child support and alimony debts.
If creditors are threatening to garnish your wage, the best thing you can do is to explore your legal rights so you can actively fight the garnishment order.