Wage garnishment is a consequence that consumers can face if they owe money and have no reasonable means to pay off the debt. In this practice, funds are diverted directly from your employer-provided paycheck and given to the creditor. Wage garnishment commonly occurs when someone fails to pay child support or fulfill tax responsibilities with the IRS. However, credit card companies can also utilize this debt collection technique. If you’re concerned about this financial risk, here’s what you should know about credit cards, wage garnishment, and how a debt attorney can help.
When Can Credit Cards Garnish Wages?
If you fail to pay credit card debts in a timely fashion, the creditor can sue. After you’re notified of the suit, the case will be taken to trial to prove or disprove the debt owed. If funds are owed, the court will make a money judgment and order your employer to divert a portion of your paycheck to the creditor.
How Much Can Be Taken?
Both federal and state laws limit how much can be taken from your paycheck. A maximum of 25% can be taken for credit card debts. In Hawaii, you can determine whether or not you want to be assessed by federal or state rules. Typically, if you make more than the minimum wage, opting to adhere to Hawaii laws will lessen the impact of the garnishment. Plus, employers in Hawaii cannot fire you for having any number of garnishments.
How Can You Fight Wage Garnishment?
To avoid the legal challenges of wage garnishment, it’s best to try to settle the debt out of court. In many cases, creditors will be willing to work out special payment plans to ensure they get the funds in a fair manner.
However, if you want to fight the suit, you’ll want to hire a debt attorney. Depending on the circumstances, these professionals can review and present evidence to prove you do not owe the debt or that garnishment will severely impact your quality of life.
You might also ask your debt attorney about bankruptcy. Ultimately, declaring bankruptcy can stop credit card collection attempts and wage garnishment from happening, as well as clear existing debts that you cannot pay.
If you’re concerned about wage garnishment, Greg Dunn, Bankruptcy and Debt Relief Attorney, is here to help you navigate the process. Having worked in financial law since 1996, this Honolulu, HI, debt attorney will prepare a case that presents your situation clearly and honestly to help you gain a fair judgment. In addition to garnishment representation, he’s qualified to help you declare chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy. Visit this bankruptcy lawyer online to learn more about these capabilities, or call (808) 524-4529 to start reviewing your case.