Ideally, you should take action before a wage garnishment is issued to stop the process. However, if it has already been ordered, you need to act quickly to avoid future actions from creditors. Here are three options you have available to you to stop the garnishment.
File for Bankruptcy
For some people, a garnishment is just one of the financial hurdles they are facing. If you are in the same boat, filing for bankruptcy can not only stop the garnishment but also help protect you from other legal actions from your creditors.
Once your bankruptcy petition is filed with the court, your creditors will be notified. At that point, all legal actions, including the garnishment, are frozen. The automatic stay can remain in place until your bankruptcy is completed or a creditor convinces the court to remove it earlier.
The stay buys you time. You can make payments on the debts you have. You can also explore other legal options to handle the garnishment. Once you have filed, provide the creditor with the garnishment a copy of your petition to avoid future action.
Challenge the Garnishment
Garnishments usually occur after a lawsuit has been decided by the court. If that is the case with your garnishment, you can possibly stop it by challenging the act with the court.
You need to prove to the court that continuing the garnishment would present a financial hardship to you. For instance, if you would be in danger of losing your home, you could provide evidence to the court of your earnings and your current monthly expenses.
If you are successful, the court could decide to end the garnishment. There is also the possibility that the court could keep the garnishment in place, but order the creditor to decrease the amount that is taken out of each paycheck.
Challenge the Initial Order
If the garnishment is the result of a lawsuit, you can head to court and challenge the original decision that led to the judgment against you. Appeals have a statute of limitations, so it is important that you act quickly. The amount of time you have can vary depending on your state.
In order to be successful in your appeal, you have to prove that the law was not appropriately followed in the initial case. Proving this could prove tricky, but it is not impossible. An attorney (such as Jeffrey S Arnold Attorney At Law P.C.) can help you review the initial decision and determine if you do have grounds for an appeal.